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Talking About Premarital And Prenuptial Assets, Debt And Credit
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There are many details to think about when you’re planning your wedding, so don’t leave your prenups for the last minute. Here’s a list of issues to think about before you speak to your fiancé and your lawyer regarding a premarital agreement. If often helps to know your own feelings about these issues before deciding to talk to your fiancé about them:
1) Premarital Assets and Debts:
You need to make a full disclosure of your current income, assets and debts. It’s required for any prenup AND it’s a just a good idea in general.
Let’s face it: If you can’t talk about money before you get married, you won’t be able to talk about it after you get married, and once you’re married, the stakes are much higher.
People tend to be either spenders or savers. Given that opposites attract, it’s typical for a couple to have very different money styles.
That can work out just fine, provided that you each know about the other’s priorities and goals and provided you can work out a way for each person’s needs to be met.
For example, one partner might be concerned about retirement savings and future security. The other partner may feel that money is to be enjoyed and spent for things like vacations and luxury vehicles as part of a well-lived life.
Can these styles be reconciled?
The answer is yes, of course, provided that you have a plan for what will be set aside for retirement and what’s available to use for enjoyment.
Some questions to ask yourself regarding the management of assets and income are:
· Who will make the financial decisions and handle the checkbook?
· Will you do it together, or will one person be the primary financial manager?
· What about large expenditures?
· Does your spouse need to ask you before buying that plasma TV or
· How will the household bills get paid, and whose responsibility is it to pay
· Will you have joint bank accounts, separate bank accounts, or both?
· Do you have similar money styles?
· With respect to debt?
· With respect to savings?
· Have you discussed your long-term financial goals, and how each of you will contribute?
2) Now, You can start by discussing your Credit and Debt:
Have you seen each other’s credit report? Now is a good time to have a serious talk about credit scores and priorities with respect to paying off old debt or accumulating new debt. Is it likely that either of you might over-borrow? Or refuse to borrow no matter how much sense it makes to the other person?
· Consider joint credit issues, as well as issues like pledging your home as collateral on business, or using a home equity line of credit to fund a business or tide it over in an economic downturn.
· Does either of you have bad credit? Will you and your spouse jointly sign on new credit obligations?
· Are back taxes owed? If so, how will they be paid? Jointly, individually, and from which chequebook?
It’s natural for people to have different money styles. That’s normal. In order to manage those different money styles, open the lines of communication so that you’re not hiding shopping bags in the garage or telling your spouse that your brand new iPad is a hand me down from a friend.
Diana Mercer is a Collaborative Divorce Attorney Los Angeles and the founder of Peace Talks Family Mediation Services. They help the couple for prenuptial agreements California and provide you divorce mediation, Parenting Plans and Collaborative Mediation Los Angeles, Culver City, Ladera Heights, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.
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