Money can’t buy you love, but a large shortfall of it sure seems to have an effect in destroying it. Money troubles are consistently one of the chief factors associated with divorce and the number one reason couples state they bicker.
That said, is it a good idea to openly enter into a marriage contract knowing that you or your partner are bringing to it a fair sized bundle of funds owing?
According to David Weliver, writer for Money Under 30, it really depends on the type of debt. He states that while he would be comfortable entering into marriage with student loans or even vehicle debt – since the purpose for which those two debts were, or are, being incurred are viewed by society as beneficial toward intents of the future – he would not do so with personal or credit debt.
He also recommends that the two partners are 100 per cent upfront and transparent with one another where money matters are concerned. Even with a prenup, once married, one person’s debt can often become the other partner’s problem, and vice versa. Though money problems can arise at anytime during the course of a marriage, and people’s spending habits can change, Weliver recommends taking these steps to guard against nuptial failure:
- Talk about money: Discuss your incomes, debts, assets, future goals, your tendencies to splurge or discipline to save, and how you plan to handle your funds after you’re married – in depth.
- Attempt to start at 0: If one of you does have debt, take all possible measures to pay it off, thereby allowing you a fresh start as you enter into your new marriage.
- Consider postponing: If it’s possible, and an extra year would go a long way in repairing your finances, take the time needed to mend them. If you can’t delay, consider finding a way to take in some extra income and clear those debts as soon as possible.
- Get a prenup: Weliver says though prenups have a cold connotation, they may actually protect your spouse. They could prevent a creditor’s ability to seek reparations for your debts from their assets.
- Keep communication channels wide open: Never stop talking about money. This means discussing with your spouse when you are planning to make a large purchase, take out a new credit product, or are contributing to an RRSP.
Remember that criticism leads to quarrel, but gentle start-ups can create a great, open dialogue on where the future of your finances is headed. Before you tie the knot, be sure you have reached a consensus on what that path looks like.