According to most sources, money is the number one cause for divorce. Even sources who disagree concur that financial issues are among the top reasons for divorce. It’s not surprising when you think about it – money is one of the most controversial and personal topics for most people. It makes sense that it would be a subject of disagreement.
Psychologists and financial advisors alike suggest that having financial discussions with your potential spouse before you get married is wise. It may not seem very romantic, but the reality is that it can allow for the possibility for real romance to exist in the future. Discussing past and current financials as well as conversing about future financial expectations can help to prevent problems from occurring in the future.
Am I Marrying You or Your Loans?
One of the first things you should discuss is personal financial history. This can include sharing credit reports, discussing debt, recent tax returns, previous saving habits (or lack thereof!), and other financial habits or concerns. The idea is not to use this information to make a decision about the future of the marriage – hopefully by that point you’ve decided you’ll marry each other no matter what – but rather to get a good assessment of where you each stand financially so that you can make plans to share your finances in the future and to help each other with current debts or poor credit history.
(Picture Credit Pinterest)
If you and your spouse apply for a joint credit card, loans, or any other shared financial venture, both of your credit records will be checked. The best practice is usually to have the partner with the stronger credit history help the person with the weaker history to improve theirs, while still working to preserve their own good status.
Who is Picking Up the Check?
A second important financial discussion is who will pay for what during the marriage. Whose income will pay bills, a mortgage, or other shared expenses? Will you divide the responsibilities, and if so, how? Will you each be allotted a “personal fund” for entertainment purchases, etc? What will you do with monetary gifts that you receive? Will you each have separate accounts in addition to any shared accounts, or do you plan to keep everything in a joint account? Will certain portions of your paychecks be allotted to certain things?
What are Our Financial Goals?
A third financial conversation which, while it may seem unnecessary before marriage is actually quite important, is the discussion of future financial decisions. These include discussing plans for parenthood, saving for college educations, retirement, and estate planning. This also should include discussions of goals, both personal and shared. What are some things that you plan to do together which you’ll need to save for? What are things you want to save for personally? How will you expect to spend financially in the future? What sort of lifestyle do you want to live together?
All of these are extremely important discussions to have, and the sooner you can have them after you’ve decided to marry, the better things will turn out for you in the long run.
Rachel Oda writes for paydaycashadvanceloans.biz and knows that getting married can raise the need for money right away.