You’re in love, maybe you’re engaged to be married, and you know everything about your betrothed. Or do you? Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see couples seeking to divorce because of issues that could have been discovered, discussed — and oftentimes resolved — before they ever walked down the aisle.
So, don’t assume — ask. Reviewing important financial and personal questions with your intended spouse now could prevent surprises and strife later.
Having a complete understanding of your future partner’s financial affairs is absolutely essential. Asking isn’t prying. Marriage is a legal contract, so you ought to know for your own well-being — and share this information about yourself.
- Do they have credit card debt, and if so, how much? Find out the interest rate(s), minimum monthly payments, and their plans to pay off the balance.
- Have they ever filed for bankruptcy? Bankruptcy can impact a person’s credit, affecting their ability to take out a loan or qualify for a lower interest rate.
- Do they own any real estate?
- Have they co-signed for any loans? A co-signer is equally responsible for a debt if the other person defaults.
- Do either of you want a prenuptial agreement? If so, be sure to have a qualified attorney review the terms before you sign (we can help with this!).
You know their favorite foods, their wildest dreams, and their deepest fears — but there are some topics people are reluctant to broach, even with those they love the most. So be sure to ask these questions and be prepared to answer them as well.
- Was your significant other married before, and if so, was the divorce finalized or are they still legally married?
- Do they have a will or life insurance? If they do, find out if they plan to add you.
- Does the person you want to marry have any prior criminal convictions or financial judgements against them? Either could affect you financially.
- When you marry, would either or both of you wish to change your name?
- Do either or both of you want to have children?
Many of these are difficult topics to discuss, we know. But trusting each other enough to talk honestly is a great way to strengthen the relationship. It’s also possible that what you find out may give you pause. By contrast, discovering (or revealing) key facts after the wedding could lead to feelings of hurt and distrust — and leave you financially vulnerable, too.
With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, are highly experienced in high conflict divorces where depositions are common. We can provide the legal guidance you need.