Why couples should have a financial plan for marriage

By Marrero, Chamizo, Marcer Law, LP,

When Florida couples are planning a wedding, they probably have no thought of ever getting a divorce. It is a fact, however, that divorce rates are rather high, especially for subsequent marriages. Talking about finances and debt in advance can make good sense, especially since money matters are one of the leading causes of marital breakups.

A pre-marital discussion about finances could include topics of debt that each partner is taking into the marriage, plans for savings after marriage, the cost of a home, insurance costs and the important question of whether or not to sign a prenuptial agreement. Financial problems in the future could be reduced by avoiding the temptation some people might feel to let their spouse handle all the money matters. Both spouses should be involved and completely up front about money and debt that they have. Having secrets or being in the dark about what the other person is doing financially could lead to financial trouble and more emotional stress.

The longer a marriage lasts, the more financial matters it will encounter. If the couple plans on having children, college savings plans could be discussed. It could be prudent for engaged couples to remember that once they are married, in general all debts acquired during the marriage become the joint obligations of both spouses.

Couples who are facing the end of a marriage have the right to decide between themselves how their marital property and debts will be divided. If they cannot reach an agreement, then the court will decide for them, and the result may not please either party. This is why many couples find it advisable to obtain the assistance of their respective family law attorneys when trying to negotiate a comprehensive settlement agreement.