Getting married can change your finances for the better or for the worse.
If you’re going to get married, the last thing that you want to think about is the potential for divorce. However, when it comes to personal finance, getting married is a major step that can have good – or disastrous – consequences, depending on how it is handled. Divorces are usually very difficult for all parties involved. Therefore, you should try to make sure that you know exactly who will get what before you marry. That way, if you ever do go through a divorce, there is already a pre-existing agreement to fall back on, and the divorce proceedings can be finished as quickly as possible.
Before you get married (though this does not need to be used as a determination of whether or not you should marry) you should sit down and go through all of your personal finances. You need to find out how much money you currently have, compare the living expenses that you will have as a couple, and determine what your combined income will be.
After you have determined what you will have after you get married, you should also think about what you and your future spouse will want to have later on. For instance, if you’re planning on having children, this should be factored into your financial plans – since you need a lot of money in order to make sure that you will have enough to raise your child.
It’s not necessary that you have a signed prenuptial agreement in most cases, though you might want to if you want to be completely safe. However, talking things over before you get married will help you know what to expect if things don’t work out, and will give your finances some direction.
Other decisions that you should make include whether or not you will have a joint bank account. This will have to do with how well you trust and know your future spouse. While it is traditional to share a bank account, most couples find it easier to keep separate bank accounts, or to have separate bank accounts and a smaller, shared account for home expenses.
No matter what you decide, it’s important to realize that getting married will have a major effect on your personal finances. Therefore, you should always make sure that you have a good idea of what will happen before you tie the knot.
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