While the union of two persons may be about love outside of the courtroom, marriage deals with finances and ownership inside the courtroom. Every married couple has had at least one fight about money issues. Even if you do not have a significant other, this you should at least be knowledgeable on the finances behind marriage itself.
You and your significant other should share how much assets you have. This includes any valuable property and how much money in bank accounts. While it may seem a little awkward to ask what any person has in their bank account, it is better to find out before you legally tie the knot. You definitely do not want to assume that your spouse has any amount of assets because you may be wrong. Also, you should be inquiring about your spouse’s base salary , income and revenue. Assets acquired before a marriage and inheritances can be considered as belonging to the spouse that earned it. Salaries, income and revenue are considered either community property, common law or equitable distribution depending on the state you are married in. Meaning that the assets are either split 50/50 or in an equitable fashion determined by a judge.
Love is blind, debt has 20/20 vision. While you do not have to pay off the debt your partner accumulated before marriage, you should still discuss the amount of debt being brought to the marriage by both of you. You do not want to wait until after your honeymoon to notice that your spouse has horrible credit and is 70k deep in student loan debt. Debt will offer some hindrances when attempting to move forward financially as a union. Buying a house or building credit together will become a challenge if you or your spouse is in too much debt. Your spouse’s debt could affect deductibles when filing your taxes making them higher than need be.
Discussing financial goals before marriage puts you and your spouse on the same page, or at least in the same book. You may want to buy a house but your spouse may think renting is the best option. Will your finances be separate or together? What about savings and retirement plans? Do any of you have any business plans? These are some financial questions you should be asking each other before getting hitched. Setting financial goals before and after marriage helps keep the focus of financial stability in your marriage.
A conversation about finance will definitely shed some light on the perspective of both you and your significant other. Having this conversation and having an understanding on marriage finances before getting legally married helps to prevent future arguments and misunderstandings.