Absent very special circumstances, such as an abusive relationship or a situation in which you and your partner explicitly decide not to commingle money and assets, it's smart to be familiar with each other's finances and the household bills and credit obligations.
"Not knowing what each other is doing financially can have disastrous results," says Mark Foster, director of education for Credit Counseling of Arkansas.
Like most things in life, it's a balancing act. Not an easy one, either.
"We often see a woman let her husband or significant other deal with the finances -- every single bit of it -- because that person may have a better knack for it or wishes to," says Foster. "But that can be a major problem if they divorce, separate or the spouse dies. Then the woman is completely in the dark as to what bills to pay, how much is owed, access to bank accounts, etc."
His advice: "Stay in the loop about what's financially going on -- where accounts are, what the passwords are, who you owe and when payments are due."