HITCHED OR DITCHED?
Money squabbles can wreck a marriage.
By Kathy M. Kristof, Business Section, Los Angeles Times, 2/14/10
….”Passion often blinds sweethearts to the fact that matrimony is (actually) a contract”
This timely article goes on to warn couples, passionately in love and contemplating marriage, that as they try to figure out how that partnership can flourish they may be avoiding the most crucial issue to be discussed prior to marriage: FINANCIAL DIFFERENCES rank among the greatest sources of marital difficulties, partly because discussing money before the wedding makes couples uncomfortable, fearing it might indicate a lack of trust, or that a prenuptial agreement could be a self-fulfilling prophecy for breaking up.
Experts say the opposite is true; spouses who bicker about finances in the early stages of their marriage may very well be talking about the same issues in divorce court later, according to Tina Tessina, author of “Money, Sex & Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage.”
Tessina goes on to say, “Nobody wants to talk about the money part until you are married and financially entwined.”…. When it may be too late. The author proceeds to offer suggestions from experts on how to “invite financial harmony to the wedding”:
KNOW THE HISTORY ~~ each partner should have an understanding of the other partner’s (financial) experiences and try to understand the possible motivation behind their behaviors.
AIR THE LAUNDRY~~ sometimes that means trading credit reports, which might reveal important difference in spending habits so that intelligent decisions can be made regarding how to handle finances.
SET YOUR GOALS~~this may get into establishing parameters about how couples want to live, what they want to achieve in the future, including a more detailed way of exploring values.
GET IT IN WRITING~~prenuptial agreements are written contracts spelling out the division of assets and future earnings if a marriage fails; some couples consider these documents too unromantic and would never marry anyone who would suggest it, whereas for other couples who may have children from previous marriages or a large disparity in assets (or separate property) it can be very helpful. It takes possible money issues out of the relationship by acknowledging potential problems.
Kristol says,” Better to ask now than regret later”.
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