Getting married is an exciting time full of decisions and choices that will affect you long-term. Determining which color scheme you want to use at your wedding can be difficult enough, but when you throw finances into the mix, things can get difficult. Financial arguments can really affect any relationship if they are not conducted in an effective manner, so it’s a good idea to talk about your finances before you get married. Especially if you are an older adult or one of you is coming into the marriage with more assets than the other person (or greater debt), it is important to determine jointly how you want to merge your money. Not everyone feels that combining assets or debt is the right way to go, and it isn’t the right choice for every couple, but if you do want to combine your finances, here are some important issues to consider.
1. Consider a prenuptial agreement
Issues like prenuptial agreements cause strife with many couples, but the truth is that the divorce rate in America is high. The numbers change depending on who has conducted the research, but roughly 45 to 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce. No one wants to consider the chance that they might get divorced later when they are just getting married, but doing so could protect your financial future. Prenuptial agreements can protect you, or your partner, if one of you is coming into the marriage with considerably more assets. On the other hand, if you or your partner has a lot of debt, you might want to come to an agreement about whether or not that becomes shared debt when you get married. If you don’t have your agreement down on paper, you might end up paying for something that you don’t want to pay for if the relationship ends; much of what you will owe depends on the state you live in.