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Assessing financial goals before marrying

Divorces can be emotional and stressful for North Carolina couples. Although the plan when entering marriage is typically a forever relationship, more than 40 percent of first marriages do not survive. The divorce rate has decreased substantially since 1980, but couples should consider the possibility of divorce when planning for their lives together. By identifying serious discrepancies in outlook, especially with regard to finances, it may be possible to better prepare for handling these issues during marriage.

Experts agree that one of the leading issues prompting couples to end their marriage is disputes about finances. It is helpful to consider in advance that divorce can be quite expensive. This can be compounded by debt accrued during the marriage.

Before deciding to tie the knot, a couple should consider their financial status and goals. For example, an individual with a great deal of debt could face resentment from the other party because of a poor credit score. An individual with long-term career goals might resent the potential delays involved in having children and raising a family. An understanding of what marriage means to each party could help in assessing not only finances but also compatibility.

Some couples may want to consider prenuptial agreements to ensure that there is a plan for splitting resources if the marriage does not last. Although some might view this as planning to fail, it is actually more of an investment in future security if the relationship sours. Further, this is just one example of planning for life events, much like establishing a will or living trust involves planning for the future.

Family law attorneys will advise their clients who are considering a prenuptial agreement that it should be negotiated and signed well in advance of the wedding. This could be a way to defeat a future argument that one of the parties was forced to agree to its terms under duress.

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