Questions for your
premarital money chat
No matter how much you're in love,
it will make things easier if a couple talks about their financial
standings and debts before the honeymoon. The discussion should
put everything on the table -- existing credit card bills, outstanding
student loans and other debts, the assets that will be brought into
the marriage and how the couple will divide their financial responsibilities.
To help get the discussion going, here are a series of questions
that a couple can ask each other. The source is Premarital Money
Talk, a pamphlet written by Miami certified financial planner
- What, if any, are your financial assets going
into this marriage? Do you feel you can be open about this? If
not, why not?
- Are you willing to put everything in joint
names or do you want to maintain your assets separately? Will
you maintain separate checking accounts? Savings accounts? What
is that money for?
- How much income do you each have? From your
job? From other sources?
- Do either of you have any debts? What are
they? Who will be responsible for them after you marry?
- Who will handle the checkbook and household
bills? What money goes into this house account? (For example,
paychecks, interest and dividends; alimony or child support checks;
gifts; any miscellaneous income)
- What about credit cards? Will you share one?
What charges go on that? Will you each have your own? What charges
would go on those?
- Who will pay for your clothes? Your car insurance?
Trips? Entertainment? Gifts -- for both your families? For your
friends? Who pays for home furnishings? Your next car?
- Will you both have the freedom to spend as
you wish or will you have to answer to each other? All the time?
- If there's only one wage earner, will the
non-earning spouse receive an allowance? Free access to the checkbook?
Does the earned income belong equally to you both? Or does the
wage earner have control?
- Will you have a prenuptial agreement? If
yes, to protect whom and/or what?
- Who's going to own the marital residence?
If not joint ownership, is there any protection for the non-owning
spouse in case of death or divorce?
-- Updated: Feb. 4, 2005