Money can’t buy love, and it sure can get in the way! One of the leading causes of divorce in the U.S. is financial difficulty. While 9 million proposals are expected to take place on Valentine’s Day alone this year, the love potion may turn sour when money comes into question. Emily Pollock, a matrimonial law partner, visits Bold TV to share some advice on the role finance plays in marriages as well as divorce.
When the two become one, financial conversations are essential even if the topics are uncomfortable, especially when talking about debt in a new marriage. What if your partner makes more money than you? Are you comfortable with significant credit card debt if that means you can have a more luxurious lifestyle? Are you comfortable with a mortgage? These types of questions can make or break a relationship. Another one of the most important conversations for young couples is student loan debt. Each person is responsible for their individual debt, but after marriage, all earnings become marital. If you pay toward your debt during marriage, you’re taking marital money to pay off individual debt. In the case of a divorce, you can’t get back money you paid toward your partner’s debt. Some couples sign a prenup, or financial contract between spouses, before marriage to settle some of these tough questions.
OK, is there any good news? Yes, if communication is a priority. Initiating difficult conversations leads to open dialogue. When it comes to money, people have different perspectives that shape how they deal with it. Figure out how your partner views money, and decide how you will face future financial hurdles. Figure out who will handle the money. If you’re not the breadwinner, Pollock says that there are a lot of ways to contribute to a relationship that don’t come with a dollar sign.