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Sharon Naylor

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Sheryl Paul

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In Plenty and In Want

So you've finally found Mr. or Mrs. Right and your BIG day is just around the corner. Wedded bliss, here you come...

Not so fast. We don't want to burst your fuzzy little bubble, but we all know that the biggest problem in most
failing relationships stems from a disagreement about money. After you've set a date for the wedding (or better yet, before) set a date and sit down to talk to each other about your financial situation. To help get the conversation started, here are some questions you need to discuss with one another before the ink dries on the marriage license.

Where do you want to be in the next five years?

This is a great question to lead with because you'll ultimately get a sense of the financial picture. Does one want to pursue their education further? Start a business? Build a house? Knowing these things ahead of time allows for better planning in the meantime.

What are our assets and liabilities, and do we need a prenup?

Each partner should fill out a networth worksheet listing their assets and liabilities and then discuss how they'd like things divvied up in the event of a divorce. While prenups certainly aren't the most romantic discussion, they are necessary to talk about. With 1/3 of all new marriages and half of all second marriages ending in divorce, it's a good idea to
protect your finances.


Do we keep finances together, or separate? To that end, how do we tackle existing debt?

It is important to determine how you will divide your finances - will you keep single account and just "pitch in" for monthly bills? Will you have joint accounts? How about single accounts with one joint household account? There are options and you need to discuss them. Your existing debt is no exception. If at all possible, try to eliminate debt before getting married. This helps the marriage start with a clean slate and less stress.


What other questions do you think are important to ask before tying the knot? [Kiplingers]


Posted: 5/19/08