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Reducing divorce risk with pre-marriage financial planning

It's no secret that financial issues can lead to the end of a marriage for Oklahoma couples. One survey found that nearly 60 percent of respondents say financial problems "somewhat" contributed to the end of their marriage, and 20 percent cited money-related matters as a "big" reason for their divorce. This is why an online dating coach urges couples not to walk down the aisle without discussing spending, saving and other financial issues.

Couples looking to avoid the type of financial-related stress that could contribute to a divorce may benefit from a pre-wedding meeting with a certified financial planner or financial therapist. While some people see prenuptial agreements as a "divorce contract," such documents could be effectively used to clarify decisions about how assets obtained before and during a marriage will be handled.

Soon-to-be-spouses are also encouraged to talk about such things as their credit rating and existing debt that may include student loans and credit obligations before tying the knot to reduce the risk of serious conflicts that could strain the marriage. It's also recommended that legally wed partners consider a joint bank account. Even if separate accounts are preferred, it can be helpful for couples to have mutually agreed upon goals with finances.

Lack of communication about such things as accumulated debt or spending habits is another potential source of financial conflict during a marriage. Complete transparency of finances can also extend to agreeing to only using one institution and sharing account passwords. Having regular meetings specific to financial goals while married is another step that could help couples stay on track and fully informed.

Should spouses reach a point where divorce becomes an option, a lawyer may be able to clarify financial details such as what assets are considered jointly shared and which ones belong solely to one party. An attorney may also be able to offer advice on how to divide retirement accounts and any mutually held business assets. With prenups, modifications can be made if financial circumstances change during a marriage. Such documents may also be challenged if they are unfair to one spouse.

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