Statistics reveal that more than 50% of families in the United States are either remarried or re-coupled. Deciding to blend a family, however, is not without its challenge. One of the most common types of challenges faced by blended families involves finances. This situation can be made even more complex when two families are blended. Blending families has the potential to be particularly complicated when both families come from different income brackets, and both families often introduce new debts and financial obligations into the equation. The following reviews some helpful tips that families can follow while blending finances.
Make Sure Both Parents Agree
It is critical that both parents agree about how to handle all financial issues. The parents should then develop a plan and present it to any children in the family. It is critical that parents make careful and intentional plans rather than spontaneous decisions regarding finances.
Hold Family Meetings
The blended family is a new thing for everyone involved. As a result, everyone should expect a number of issues to change including financial rules. It is also critical to make sure that financial rules are updated as children get older and gain additional responsibilities.
Agree with Biological Parents as Much as Possible
Not only must blended families juggle the perspectives of both parents as well as any children involved, in many situations the children often have a second biological parent who must also be taken into consideration. It is a wise idea to discuss financial issues with this biological parent and to come to agreements whenever possible. Doing this helps to provide a sense of consistency for any children of the family.
Update Estate Planning Documents
In many cases, after a couple decides to blend families, they will need to update a variety of estate planning documents including trusts and wills. One particular change that often must occur involves updating the designated beneficiary in the estate planning documents.
Take Adult Children into Consideration
In many situations, it is critical to take adult children into consideration. Some parents of blended families might think that it is possible to entirely avoid financial issues if children are fully grown, but children who attempt to come back for a loan or are in need of money have the potential to create substantial financial difficulties. Instead, it is important to discuss in advance what type of financial help will be provided to these children. Situations in which one parent is aware that an adult child needs financial help and the other parent does not know can lead to serious fights among the couple.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Divorce LawyerDeciding to blend two families can end up creating a valuable new family unit, but it is not without its challenges. If you have encountered any obstacles during this process, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of a skilled family law attorney. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, PC today to schedule a free case evaluation, during which time an attorney will discuss the various options to solve the challenges that you are currently facing.