Finances and Divorce
Finances or the lack thereof can be a major strain on a married couple’s relationship. In general people are funny about money and that is why it is so important that couples keep an open dialogue about their finances. An online survey of Canadian couples [a similar culture to Americans] found that 92% of people believe it is important to be on the same page as their spouse when it comes to finances. Although 92% of people believe that it is important to be on the same page, only approximately 65% discussed any issue related to household finances. Although the topic is uncomfortable to talk about, it is necessary to discuss in order to prevent a breakdown of the marriage due to a lack of communication about finances. The following are important financial topics to discuss:
- Although marriage is about love it is also important to know how much money and/or debt that your spouse has.
- You should know your spouse’s short and long term savings and investing goals.
- Spouses should have a financial plan. This should be done whether or not you choose to use a professional financial planner. It can be as simple as putting a small percentage of your income in a savings account.
- You and your spouse should know what the other envisions for retirement and formulate a plan to attain that goal.
- If kids are involved, then you should decide if you want to pay for their college. If you decide that you want to pay or help them pay for college, determine how you are going to do that.
- You should plan for a rainy day. This fund is there for the unpredictable and should ease the strain of that period.
The above list is not inclusive and I advise hiring a financial planner to help break down the numbers. Couples that do not communicate about their finances will likely have communication breakdowns in other parts of the relationship. Do yourself a favor and have that difficult conversation.