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Premarital Financial Talk

July 15, 2016

Money tops the list of reasons for divorce. The risk that any marriage will end in divorce is about 45 percent. One of the major discrepancies that come up is in how men and women view money—women tend to view money as a means of security, while men conversely view it as a source of power and status. 

For example, women may be focused more on paying for mortgages and childcare, whereas men might be more attentive to the value of their home and stocks. Regardless, thinking about money and determining what you do with it goes hand in hand.

A study released earlier this year found that 88 percent of adults 25 to 34 who are married or living with a partner said that financial decisions are a constant source of tension in their relationship. Oddly enough, many couples in the survey (which was conducted by the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council) said they had never discussed their financial goals or habits. It is suggested that you have five types of conversations with your partner before you get engaged. These conversations include spending and saving, income, debt damage, developing joint goals, and joint money management. By getting all of these topics out on the table before vows have been exchanged, you will be ensuring that both parties are seeing eye-to-eye when it comes to money.

It is important to face these pressing issues as soon as you can before entering into the commitment of marriage. Feelings are very powerful, especially when a couple is in the pre-marital stance. Many troubled marriages began with false expectations and a misunderstanding of marital roles. As you gain insight about your partner, when you find serious issues, you can and should walk away from the relationship if the problems are insurmountable or you are unwilling to live with what you discover. It will save you a lot of heartache and money. Managing money in a marriage can be difficult, but having pre-marital financial talks helps insure that this aspect of the relationship can run more smoothly.  Although it is not always warranted, a written pre-nuptial agreement may be advisable to provide certainty to financial issues upon the end of a marriage whether by divorce or death.

Our matrimonial department can assist you with any concerns you may have about pre-marital financial talks and pre-nuptial agreements. Please contact HoganWillig with any questions about the above material, or if you wish to speak to an attorney, at 716-636-7600. HoganWillig is located at 2410 North Forest Road in Amherst, New York 14068, with additional offices in Buffalo, Lancaster, and Lockport.