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Discussing financial issues is key before marriage

When couples marry, they don't just merge their emotional lives, but their financial ones as well. However, too few couple discuss their current financial situations, including debts and assets, before they marry. Perhaps even fewer discuss their views on saving and spending and their financial goals for the future.

While discussing finances may be the last thing you want to do as you're planning for your wedding, your intended's debt and credit issues could become your own if you don't properly plan. That's just one reason why a prenuptial agreement is a wise idea, even if your partner isn't a tech billionaire and you're not set to inherit millions from your parents.

Drafting a prenup provides a good opportunity for engaged couples to discuss their financial goals, both short-term and long-term. If you don't already know these things (which you should), this is when you should find out your partner's income, assets and debts. It's also important to know what his or her attitudes toward spending and racking up credit card and other debt.

This is a good opportunity to discuss your financial goals as a couple and as you have a family. An experienced family law attorney will probably advise you to keep some money separate, particularly if one or both of you has significant assets. It's often a good idea to have a joint account to cover household and other expenses. However, beyond that, commingling assets can create issues in a divorce.

Discussing financial issues, let alone drafting a prenup, may seem like a very unromantic thing to do when you're in a wedding planning frenzy. However, it can help prevent arguments about money later and ultimately protect you if the marriage ends.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Ask Brianna: What Are My Financial Must-Do’s as a Newlywed?," Brianna McGurran, NerdWallet, June 16, 2017

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