Making The Complex

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Why money is the root of so many divorces

It’s no secret that financial issues play a part in a number of marital break-ups. In many cases, it’s because couples just don’t want to talk about money, either before they get married or after. However, not having these important discussions can have a serious impact on the relationship, particularly if their attitudes around money are divergent.

One common source of problems is when the finances are managed by just one spouse. Whatever the reason behind this dynamic, if the spouses aren’t making financial decisions that affect both of them and their family together, it may not be a good sign for the marriage. Further, if one spouse is left in the dark about the couple’s assets, he or she can be at a serious financial disadvantage if the marriage ends.

There are a number of simple ways for spouses to build a financial partnership so that you both have a say in this important part of your marriage and are both knowledgeable about your household income and expenses.

— There are a number of apps and computer programs (such as Mint) that help people set and maintain a budget.

— While setting up your budget, this a good time to talk about your individual and common goals. Do you want to save for a new house, pay off your student loans, save up to start a family or splurge on a Caribbean vacation?

— Consider having individual accounts in addition to your joint accounts. A little financial independence for both spouses can be healthy.

— Set aside time on a regular basis (at least quarterly) to sit down and discuss your finances.

Frank discussions about money are probably best before a Louisiana couple gets married. Because our attitudes about it can be deeply ingrained, it’s important to know if the person you are marrying generally shares your view. That’s why prenuptial agreements can be important. They don’t just help protect you in the event of a divorce. They let the two of you start a serious discussion about your life together as financial partners.

Source: Huffington Post, “The Dirty Money Conversation: Marital Financial Failures That Cause Divorce” Morghan Leia Richardson, Feb. 20, 2015


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