Financial tips to be ready for a divorce

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Thursday, June 16, 2011

In some ways, preparing for a marriage is like preparing for a divorce or a death. Couples need to understand each other’s finances, for instance, should a marriage turn out to be wrong for the parties in it, or if an unforeseen tragedy takes a spouse away.

Before marriage, women and men alike should make sure that they understand their future spouse’s spending habits, current debts and whether or not they plan to combine their financial accounts. According to a recent column in Forbes, even if a couple decides to combine accounts, each person should still maintain their own bank account with money set aside — just in case.

If either person entering into a marriage has a considerable amount of wealth, a prenuptial agreement should be considered. Prenups allow individuals entering into a marriage the ability to protect their assets in case of a divorce.

When it comes to filing tax returns, many married couples file jointly. This may be the most common practice, but it is not right for everyone. Making sure that each individual understands what they are filing is essential. If a partner owns a business and they are declaring its information on their personal tax return, both individuals can be held accountable if something regarding the business turns out to be illegitimate or fraudulent.

Lastly, both members of a couple need to be aware of where their money is located. One person may perform all of the financial duties of the couple, but it is the responsibility of the other person to make sure that they are aware of what their money is being spent on and whether or not their name is even included on their accounts.

It’s a good idea to discuss these matters with each other and with a trusted family law attorney so as to avoid surprises somewhere down the road.

Source: Forbes: “June Brides, Are You Ready for Divorce?” by Jeff Landers: June 7, 2011

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