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Before marriage, consider your attitudes about money

They say that roughly half of all marriages eventually lead to divorce, and they also note that financial issues are one of the leading reasons for divorce.

While every case is different, some financial experts believe that the root of the problem is that couples think about money differently and they do not have open and honest conversations about it before they tie the knot. Only after marriage does it become clear that they are not on the same page.

One financial educator tries to help them understand this by filling out worksheets to get a better idea of how they view money. One of the sheets, for instance, asks them to write down names of their family members and whether they would be more likely to spend their money, share it or save it.

After that, couples are given a list of questions to answer that include things like:

  • When growing up, how much money did your family have? How much did you have personally?
  • What impacted your financial values and habits when you were young?
  • When your parents talked about family finances, were you and the other children ever involved?
  • What do you think your financial habits look like today?
  • What mistakes do you think you make? What are you doing right?
  • What are your financial goals? Do they differ on a personal level, as compared to your goals as a couple?

These are just a few examples, but they can get couples talking about money, prenuptial agreements and how best to handle finances in their relationships. If you are going to get divorced, money will likely play a central role, so make sure you know what legal options you have.

Source: The New York Times, "Getting Married? Forget Sweet Nothings; Let’s Talk About Money," Paul Sullivan, April 27, 2018

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