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Marriage Finances: Is Your Marriage in Financial Trouble?

 Posted on December 30, 2015 in Marriage Finances

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,Successful marriages are centered around trust. For a marriage to work, spouses need to be open and honest with each other. This is true for every aspect of a relationship, from disclosing feelings, to being completely transparent about finances. Unfortunately, marriage counselors, divorce attorneys, therapists, and mediators see financial issues at the center of marital problems all too often. Discovering that your spouse is lying about money can be devastating, and once the trust in your relationship is destroyed, rebounding back can be difficult. By learning a few key signs that can indicate a financial problem in your marriage, you can save yourself emotional stress, and likely money, but identifying the problem early. Below are a few things to look out for if you suspect your spouse of financial infidelity. They Are Secretive about Their Finances As stated above, marriages revolve around trust. If your spouse is secretive about their finances, you likely have a problem. Both you and your spouse should have a solid understanding of how much each other earns, the amount of assets you share and own individually, and how each of you handles your finances on a daily basis. If you are both completely transparent about your money, it becomes much more difficult for either one of you to hide funds or do anything else shady. Marriage experts also say that understanding each other's financial habits will help you determine how money will be handled for the future of your marriage. If you have a problem with how your spouse manages their money, you may struggle through a life of sharing finances. They Do Not Disclose Debts When you get married, both you and your spouse are committing to a lifetime of living, working, and existing together. If a spouse enters a marriage with serious debts they do not disclose, the future of the relationship is at risk. Both parties need to share any debts they have collected, including debts accrued before the relationship began. Even if the spouse responsible for the debt truly intends on paying it off themselves, they need to disclose that. One spouse with serious debt could potentially hinder shared financial decisions in the future, like applying for a home or auto loan. Reviewing both spouse's credit histories is a smart choice, and a great way to ensure both of you are moving forward together on the same page. If your spouse is hesitant to share their credit history with you, they likely have a reason to be. Perhaps they are ashamed or embarrassed about the debt they have collected, or the financial mistakes they have made, so remind them that you only want the truth so you can move forward positively. If they still resist sharing the details, you likely have a bigger issue on your hands. They Resist Signing a Prenup Convincing a spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement can be difficult. It may feel to them like you are making preparations for a break up right before you get married. They may feel like you do not trust them, or that you worry you will separate in the future. In reality, a prenuptial agreement provides peace of mind for both partners, and simply allows each party to delegate where they would like their assets to go post divorce. For couples entering marriage with only small assets, signing a prenuptial agreement is not too crucial. For couples on their second marriages, older couples, or couples with large amounts of assets prior to marriage, a prenup is definitely a smart idea. If your spouse is unwilling to sign a prenuptial agreement, that may be indicative of a bigger problem. Use caution, especially if you are entering your marriage with significant assets. They Ask You to Cosign on a Loan If your spouse does not have a strong credit score, they may ask you to cosign on a loan at some point in your relationship. This is not always indicative of a problem, however. Plenty of married couples assist each other financially, so you should not worry right off the bat if your spouse asks for help. The trouble is that people commonly agree to cosign without realizing that they are now responsible for paying back the debt. Even if you and your spouse divorce, you could still be found liable for paying back the loan. If your spouse does not handle money responsibly, and you do not trust that they will be able to pay back the debt, avoid co-signing. If you do agree to cosign on a loan, be sure to get everything in writing. Have your spouse sign a contract stating the terms of the deal and a schedule for paying the debt off. Spouses often co-sign on a loan without thinking of the future consequences. If your spouse is unable to pay back the loan, and you are left responsible for the debt, your relationship will likely be changed forever. Marriage is a partnership, so you should expect some level of supporting each other financially. If you notice anything suspicious, however, you may have a larger problem on your hands. It is one thing to help support each other, and another to be lied to or left with serious debt you did not accrue. Unfortunately, couples often discover financial secrets their spouse has been keeping long after the damage is done, and the dynamic of their relationship changes forever. The best strategy is being open and upfront with each other from the beginning.

If money issues are deteriorating your marriage, it may be time to speak to a divorce attorney. The qualified DuPage county divorce attorneys at Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, are available to assist you today. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a consultation with an attorney to learn more about your legal options and the services we provide.

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