When working with couples, one issue that always comes up is secret debt. Whether it’s credit card, student loans, IRS liens or monies owed to family and friends, it is surprising how often one spouse springs debt on the other partner after the wedding. Unfortunately, for the unknowing spouse it’s a complete body blow.
Getting married or simply being in a committed relationship takes trust, work and a long view of your shared future. The house, kids, vacations, retirement and everything in between can go up in smoke with secret debt and all that comes with it.
When getting married there are pre-marriage counseling sessions and possibly prenup agreements to go through. Sometimes with committed couples there are co-habitation agreements put into place. All of these agreements and counseling sessions are to put a plan in place if something goes wrong in the relationship. What if you don’t know what is really at risk?
What do you really know about your partner’s financials and their views on money, spending and savings? So what can you do? First, start a discussion about your financials and ask for transparency. Run credit check and review each other’s tax returns for a start. Credit checks may seem harsh, however your joint ability to borrow money in the future maybe compromised.
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