The Joint family as a concept is dying, but not dead. Also these days many people have one son – so there is not too much to ‘split’ or ‘divide’.

Having said that, joint families are still around – and one of the biggest problems is of course money.

Most heads of families expect the next generation to earn well and hand over the cash to the earlier gen who will decide how these kids will spend. To me this sounded ridiculous – till I saw so many cases that I realised that this was the norm!!

Worse is cases where the ‘elder’ son is expected to pay for the college fees of the younger son! Imagine a man who did NOTHING all his life has the ability to boss over his son who has done well for himself!! Well well what to do?

How does a son (and daughter in law) handle this? It is tough, well really tough.

Let us take the story of a man with a Rs. 56,000 take home salary – we are not talking about his wife’s Rs. 43,000 salary which she does not want to bring into the family kitty (much to the chagrin on the father in law).

He pays Rs. 28,000 as EMI (house is in his name) – he is left with 28,000 a month for the expenses of 5 people (the younger brother does not think he needs to contribute EVEN though he is earning!).

He has to pay society charges, electricity charges, ….all adding up to Rs. 20-28,000 leaving him with zero cash at the end of the month. He cannot even think of saving or investing.

All this happens because the parents are ex school teachers – they have given their house on rent and use the rental income for themselves. The parents and the younger brother think nothing about dipping into the elder son’s kitty for personal expenses. The older son (and his wife) ┬ácannot see a movie, take a holiday, ….etc. simply because there is no cash with him!!! He has to depend on his non contributing father for money.

What does the father do with his money? Well, the son is too soft to ask. The father does not have a great cash flow, but has rental income from a flat in the SAME CITY, and the younger son earns money and blows it up.

If the daughter in law were to talk, it would lead to fights…so she remains silent. Son cannot take up a job outside the city because the FATHER will not hear of it.

How do people solve such fights?



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  1. Not all issue in a Joint family are bcoz of Finance issue but majority of issues (50%) are related to finance. I saw some houses where there are no finance issues, but still they got a hell lot of issues.

    But don’t tell to simply split, bcoz these petty issues will subside with time then the Father-Son are same. Each family will have it’s own drama.

    I have many friends in bnglr who are single sons, but their parents are in their hometown although retire. No ego issues nothing, their parents can’t leave the town/locality in which they are leaving from past 20-30 years. Even my friends feel bringing parents in from that serene place & dumping them in this concrete polluted jungle is not fair. So they want let them there upto the time it’s possible. The day something else happens like health deterioration they will bring them to this jungle

  2. i am of opinion that what are advantages of joint families , or otherwise, one thing is certain that brothers are to be separated one day or other,so better to separate by planning , and happily . only question is about parents.for them, they should plan for their retirement in good days, and select what they like. for single son , the problems are not much about financial, but due to human nature , as i think from my own experience.

  3. Subra,

    I have never been a fan of joint families. I never grew up in one. But witness the horror of my father and mother bearing the brunt of iving upto expectations of relatives – who thought they were doing my parents a favour by asking for help. Supposedly his good fortune that they asked for help! It was horrible. To this date I cannot trust ‘relatives’ even from my husband’s side – though I think they are pretty ok. Sad but true. I wonder how many relationships I and my daughter have missed out because of MY mistrust?

    Subra – I think this is once again a case of being authoritarian. I am father so I can control you, specially since now I am old and retired and scared!

    Nalayini – This is what is called psychological warfare! My sympathies!

    Sushila – You are living with a emotional vampire ( your father). Btw I have noticed – the one does the most is the one who is punished. No good deed goes unpunished. Best way – No expectations!

    And yes – I am shit scared after reading the articles and comments. I hope I dont turn out like the fathers/mothers. I shall book myself into an old age home!

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