There are a number of disparities in most romantic relationships. One of the big differences is that in most marriages, one spouse tends to make more than the other. While some couples are able to navigate this issue, others are not able to do so. It is not surprising that financial issues are the leading cause of divorce across the country. These can often be resolved with strategic and open communication between spouses. As difficult as financial issues may seem when married, they can grow exponentially during and after a divorce.
The following are some of the financial issues that you should discuss with a spouse to help promote a happy union.
Discuss Your Roles
It can be helpful for each spouse to discuss the role that they would like to play in the marriage. Perhaps one of the spouses will be the primary provider and the other spouse will provide care for any children, or perhaps both spouses will work to provide for the family.
Many spouses who earn the majority of a couple’s wages want their spouse to play an active role in financial planning. When navigating these issues, it can also be helpful to introduce the subject of a postnuptial agreement. A family law attorney can help you and your spouse decide if such an agreement would benefit your situation.
Discuss Your Debt
In addition to discussing financial roles and earning, spouses should also fully disclose any debt they are bringing to the marriage, as well as a plan for paying off debts accrued by the couple. How will you pay for childcare? Your mortgage? Care for aging parents? Student loans?
Discuss Real Estate
If you and your spouse own a house, vacation property, rental property, or any other type of valuable assets, it is important to take into consideration what will happen to this property if you should file for divorce.
Many people are emotionally attached to their house and find it difficult to imagine parting with it. In some situations, however, it is necessary to sell a property to pay off any debts. Through a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, matters pertaining to real estate and other assets can be ironed out to avoid conflict down the road.
Discuss Your Taxes
In a number of marriages, one spouse is in charge of filing the couple’s taxes and generally managing financial affairs. It is important, however, for both spouses to have access to joint tax returns. These documents should then be held onto for at least five years.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney
It is no surprise that financial issues can cause a great amount of stress in a marriage. For this reason, open and honest communication is key. Talk to your spouse about the money you earn and the money you owe. Iron out some key financial decisions ahead of time to avoid a nasty rag-out fight if you choose to file for divorce down the road. Taking these practical steps can significantly decrease your stress now and for years to come.
If you have questions or concerns about money and marriage, divorce, or anything else, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced family law attorney. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum P.C. today to schedule a free initial case evaluation.