Part two of my three-part series on relationship advice from a divorce attorney deals with the topic of money. Many people dread discussing money with their partner, but it doesn’t have to be so hard—and avoiding these important discussions can have major consequences for your relationship.
Keep reading for top tips on talking about and managing money when you’re in a relationship. And if you haven’t read Part One of this series, go back and read about my general relationship advice!
Tips for Dealing with Money in Your Relationship
- Don’t be afraid to talk about money. Period. If you are too afraid to talk about finances or if you haven’t had an honest conversation about how you intend to blend your finances after marriage, then you aren’t ready to get married.
- Be on the same page about spending. It is difficult when one spouse is buying luxury items, maybe because he or she is accustomed to doing so before the marriage, and the other spouse disagrees with the level of spending. It’s best to “clear” major purchases with your spouse and refrain from keeping “secret” purchases to avoid arguments after-the-fact.
- Keep some money separate. The “experts” I polled (my divorce attorney colleagues) were divided on this. Some folks think that it’s a good idea to keep at least one credit card and one checking account in your own name; others vouch for the total transparency approach (see “Honesty” in Part One of this series). I personally think that having the safety net of some cash in your own separate account is something everyone should have.
- Share access to joint accounts. Both of you should have access to all joint accounts, know all passwords, frequently check in on what is being spent (and where), and keep track of your savings. Don’t allow yourself to become one of those clients who comes to the office with NO knowledge of the marital finances because “he (or she) always did all of that.” Having to subpoena records in order to piece together the financial history of your marriage makes our job more difficult and not having open financial records breeds distrust in the relationship.
- Spend money on things that will make your lives easier. If domestic chores are an issue and you can afford it, hire someone to help out around the house and/or garden.
Need Help with a Divorce? Contact Us Today
Even when you do everything right, sometimes marriages just don’t work out. If you’re beginning the process of separation or seeking a divorce in the state of Maryland, the divorce attorneys at Andalman & Flynn are here to walk you through the process.
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