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Your New Year’s Resolution: Get Smart About Marital Finances

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b2ap3 thumbnail Happy Couple 2It’s 2016 ”“ time flies, doesn’t it? And since it is a new year, many people are going to be making a New Year’s resolution. If you are married and do not have a resolution yet, consider using 2016 as your way of making sure that money does not ruin your marriage.

Every January, there is a roughly 33 percent increase in divorce filings. This could be due to a number of reasons ”“ perhaps the passing of the year makes more couples reevaluate their situations and realize that divorce is in the cards, or maybe couples who have already decided on divorce wanted to get through the holiday season without causing unnecessary stress on the family. But for many couples, money matters are the big cause for divorce. No matter what a couple’s level of income is, arguing about money is a huge indicator that trouble could be on the horizon.

Steps to Take to Ensure That Money Does Not End Your Marriage

  • Have an honest conversation about spending habits. Often, the disparity between spending and savings can create a rift between spouses.
  • Budgets are key. This ties into the first step, especially when one spouse is more of a spender and the other is more of a saver. Openness about expenditures, especially discretionary spending, can prevent those uncomfortable moments where the numbers don’t line up right and you find that you are in danger of not meeting your financial obligations. A monthly budget accessible by both spouses keeps everything centralized and transparent.
  • Plan for forever. Create a roadmap of your financial goals, and plan as far in the future as you can. A one-year plan, a five-year plan, even a ten-year plan including your prospects for home purchasing, vehicles, vacations and your child’s education are best made far in advance.
  • Schedule your financial discussions. Every month, depending on your schedules or when bills are due, plan to speak candidly with your spouse about what you are going to do about financial goals and obligations.
  • Consider having multiple bank accounts: a joint account to which you both contribute a certain percentage of income to pay mutual expenses, and smaller sole accounts so each spouse can spend money without the other second-guessing the choices.
  • If you can afford it, use the services of professionals to help. This may be a financial planner and/or a couple’s therapist to offer ideas for resolving money disputes.

Our divorce lawyers in Denver have the experience and resources to ensure your family law case is resolved in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.