Financial Literacy - Families and Finance
Adryenn Ashley
smart spending
Marriage, divorce and everything in between

Really, if it's just that they have bad credit but they are a good person, or there was a circumstance like a divorce or medical bills -- a single event or a series of events that will not happen again the future. How do they feel about it? Do they regret having bad credit or do they feel like, so what?

If it's so what -- that means you're going to have bad credit.

And never commingle, that is a biggie.

Keep your money separate. You don't know what can happen day-to-day. We live in such a litigious society. Someone could come after one of you and take down both of you for such silly things.

q_v2.gifWhen a couple gets married, what should they do to prepare their finances?

a_v2.gif Have a plan. Have a man and a plan. That's what I tell women: You need both. Where do you want to go financially and how are you going to get there?

You really need a plan that includes a heck of a lot of logic and that you will actually do.

It's not enough to have a plan and say, "Here are the numbers," if you know you're not going to be able to execute it.

Decide: Are we going to put money away for retirement in 401(k)s, put money into a self-directed Roth IRA and then start investing it in other ways to grow it faster or start a business?

What are you going to do and how are you going to do it?

Most people spend more time planning their wedding than they do planning their marriage and it should be the other way around.

q_v2.gifWhat kind of financial situations can trip up divorcing couples?

a_v2.gif Taxes.

There are certain things that couples do that leave them in a lurch or maybe they don't know that they owe taxes. The fun part is when you get divorced and your tax return from three years ago gets audited and you find out you owe money or you have to fight it together.

One thing you can do -- it's a loophole, but I like it -- you ask the IRS to audit your return. They only have 18 months from the date that you request it and then they can never go back.

So if you ask them to look at it and they don't -- or they do and they say OK -- they can't go back later and say, "No, we found something."

It's like getting a clean pass, or drawing a line in the sand -- boom, done.

That is something that people can think about doing.

And if you are divorcing, there is no reason to wait until the final divorce decree to start dividing the assets. You can do that on your own. You can use interspousal transfer deeds, moving things around and switching them out and make it as painless as possible.

I find that most couples don't do that. They wait until the last minute and let emotions get in the way and do things to spite the other person.

Here's the thing for divorcing couples: Family court is not a court of law. Actual law and logic does not necessarily apply.

There is way more going on under the surface that you do not or will not ever know about that impacts your rulings and your case. The only way to keep that out of the mix is to stay out of court.

So that means doing your own marital settlement agreement and then you agree on everything and hand it to the court and say, "We agree on this. You better sign it."

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