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Things to Discuss Before Marriage

As attorneys who are experienced at helping families work through the divorce process, we notice many relationships encounter similar challenges and reasons for divorce. While not an exhaustive list, here are five categories which greatly influence marriage. Discussing these topics prior to getting married may help couples align their values and goals ahead of time.

1.      Money

It is a huge topic and can sometimes be difficult to discuss. Just because you know your soon-to-be spouse works and has a good job, it does not mean they are financially stable. There are three primary topics you may want to keep in mind for discussion when it comes to money:

  • Debt — Know each other’s debt going into the marriage. This gives both parties a better overall financial picture.
  • Banking — Talk about how you are going to handle money in the marriage. Will everything go into a shared account, and will bills be paid from there? Or will you each have your own account and be responsible for certain bills?
  • Spenders vs. Savers — If you are a saver and marry a spender, or vice versa, your relationship may encounter some struggles revolving around this aspect of your money.

2.      Kids

Make sure you and your partner are on the same page regarding children. You may want to consider covering details such as the number of children you would like and how you might deal with unexpected fertility issues. If one or both of you have children from a previous marriage, talk about time sharing, custody, parenting issues, and responsibilities regarding discipline.

3.      Religion

Perhaps you alternate between each other’s churches each week. Or, maybe you do not attend at all and your fiancée does. What will your life look like after marriage? If you and your significant other have differing faith practices, the discussion of religion may be a necessary one.

4.      Home

As the average age of marriage rises, more single individuals purchase a home or condo prior to considering marriage. If you and your soon-to-be spouse both have a home, discuss where you are going to live. For some the best solution may be to sell or rent one home and move into the other. Other couples prefer to sell both homes and buy something that is new to everyone.

5.      Parents and Family

Holidays, traditions, and aging parents can lead to marital stress and the need for divorce attorneys, but pre-marital discussions can help avoid that. Talk about topics like specific holidays and whose family members you would like to celebrate with each year. Do you have specific traditions important to you or your faith? Make sure the other person understands how and why these are important to you.

Lastly, remember to discuss aging parents and your plan should you find yourself needing to provide care to an older relative. Is your significant other open to allowing your family member to move into your home should this become a need?

Having these discussions before you say “I do” can help avoid the future need for divorce attorneys. If you realize you need a premarital agreement after these discussions, Wagstaff Law Office can help. We specialize in family law including premarital agreements, foreign marriage assistance, name changes, and adoption. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 to learn more about how we can help you.