Marriage and Finances: What Should You Talk About Before Getting Married
In “Money, Money, Money” ABBA sing, “I work all night, I work all day. To pay the bills I have to pay, Ain’t it sad.” In marriage, money problems can bring more misery and stress than couples ever anticipate. When you are young and first married, you expect to struggle. You know things will be difficult but you hope that with time money worries will fade. However, for many couples, finances remain a source of contention and can lead to divorce.
Very few couples ever think about money or have a serious conversation about finances in the dating phase of their relationship. We are too much falling in love and planning a life together. Finances can be an issue when planning a wedding, however, we hope that with age and experience we will find the answers to our financial problems.
When should a couple start talking about money and planning for their future? If possible, before they say “I do”. Pre-marital mediation provides couples with an opportunity to work with a trained facilitator to have a heart-to-heart about money and marriage. Couples can learn how to talk with each other about finances and develop the skills necessary to work together when financial struggles hit them.
As part of the process, a couple will openly discuss their expenses and debts, sharing successes and failures. Together they can build a budget that can provide stability for their new family. Mediation allows for healthy communication in a safe environment. The process will also help them to recognize their stress triggers and empower them with the skills they will need to overcome problems down the road.
Pre-marital mediation enables couples to discuss how they will share financial responsibilities, divide assets, and address financial concerns in their marriage. Working together with their mediator, a couple will consider how to organize their household finances. Everything from bank accounts to paying bills can be addressed at the mediation table.
For some, pre-marriage debt is an issue. During a mediation session, couples can consider how best to handle separate debt and discuss the future debt. School loans, mortgages, car loans, and outstanding credit card debt can be addressed with the assistance of a neutral mediator. A couple can put together a plan that enables them to understand their obligations and how they can deal with debt moving forward.
Before marriage, many couples talk about their dreams and goals. They register for dishes, glasses, and a toaster for their new life together. Very few have open and honest conversations about money. Perhaps you should consider registering for a pre-marital mediation session?
Interested in a pre-marital mediation session to discuss finances? Contact us today for more information at West Coast Family Mediation Center. Call (858) 736-2411.