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Financial conversations to have before getting married

Around 45 to 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, and many of these relationships break down due to financial disagreements. Michigan couples might be able to lower the likelihood of divorce by discussing their own financial situations and attitudes about money prior to tying the knot. For example, couples should be clear about what assets and debts they are bringing into the marriage. This should include sharing credit ratings and any previous bankruptcies. Some couples may also want to consider a prenuptial agreement.

Looking ahead to marriage should mean talking about budgeting, savings and whether individual or joint accounts will be maintained. Couples should also talk about whether they have a retirement plan and what they envision for their future. They should discuss how bills and taxes will be paid and what type of insurance they need to have.

How they envision their marriage is another important topic of conversation, and this should include whether or not to have children and how that will be managed. Such discussions should also involve deciding how the couple will pay for the child's college education.

Even with frank discussions ahead of time, marriages can go awry. A person who is contemplating divorce might want to talk to an attorney. If the person brings detailed financial information about the marriage to the initial meeting, the attorney might be able to provide some preliminary insight into how the divorce may play out financially. People should keep in mind that even if they have a prenuptial agreement, this document may be subject to a challenge. Furthermore, if children are involved, the couple will also need to make decisions about child custody and visitation or accept a judge's ruling on the situation.

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