For couples about to get married, or those who are moving in together, having an agreement about how you’ll handle finances is critical. Your new love deal is absolutely about financial planning, and being honest and forthright about spending. When one person hides a bad-credit history or a buy-and-hide spending habit, the risk of relationship ruin is high.
To avoid the heartbreak of financial infidelity, here are four tips:
Don’t let money become an emotional battleground. Instead set up systems for making money decisions that respect each other’s desires and values.
Have a pre-deal money conversation. Know whether you’re a spender or saver as well as your risk tolerance level and money management style. Then uncork a bottle of wine and have “the talk.”
Review your assets – full disclosure. Each partner makes and shares a full list of assets, then, as a couple, the partners decide whether to create a legal agreement saying who gets what in the event the relationship ends.
Recognize disagreements are inevitable. That’s why you need a formula for discussion and decision-making on these issues. Conflict can be replaced by compromise. Having an agreement about money – whether it’s sealed with a hug or an actual prenup – is one of the best ways to ensure the success of not only your relationship but also a better financial future.
Gemma Allen is a partner in the Chicago family law firm of Ladden & Allen, Chartered, and the co-author of a book published in 2014, The New Love Deal: Everything you must know before marrying, moving in or moving on! Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.