To merge funds in marriage or not -- how will it affect divorce? | Lane & Lane, LLC
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To merge funds in marriage or not -- how will it affect divorce?

While the decision to get married is sometimes made on a whim, it will set the ball rolling for many other important decisions to follow. A significant number of these will involve money, and because the dynamics of each relationship are unique, there is no set plan for handling finances after getting married. Some in New Jersey may think that joining their lives with others also mean joining finances. However, advisors say it is wise to keep in mind the possibility of a divorce in the future, and under certain circumstances, it may be better to keep finances separate.

When one or both spouses have children from previous marriages, there may be child and/or spousal support to pay, or an agreement with an ex-spouse to help build college savings for the kids. Any such obligations or commitments can cause contention early in the new marriage, and keeping money separate may prevent that. Inheritances that are not kept separate may also be in danger of going to a spouse and his or her children in the event of a divorce.

Some individuals are able to manage finances more responsibly than their partners. As long as they can admit their weaknesses and acknowledge each other's strengths, they may agree on how to handle the family's finances. Some choose to keep personal funds separate with a joint account for household expenses; others choose the most responsible spouse to manage all the money matters.

New Jersey people who are considering marriage but feel concerned about how best to manage their finances may benefit from consulting with an seasoned family law attorney. A lawyer can provide valuable advice based on years of experience. This may also be the appropriate time to learn about the value of a prenuptial agreement. Along with protecting the interests of both spouses in the event of a divorce, such an agreement can also specify how finances would be handled in the marriage. Furthermore, an attorney can explain any tax implications regarding separate vs. combined finances of spouses.

Source: businessinsider.com, "The case against completely merging finances with your spouse", Shana Lebowitz, Nov. 7, 2016

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