Regain Your Financial Power in Marriage and Divorce
Do you manage the finances in your household? Does your spouse? Do you share the responsibility equally? If it is anything less than equal, ask yourself why. You may first claim it’s convenience–they are at the office and can write the checks, manage the accounts, meet with our financial advisor, etc. But, if you dig a little deeper–stay with me now–is there something else?
It’s not because we can’t. Obviously. It’s often because we haven’t done it. Inaction sometimes turns into feelings of “can’t” rather than “don’t.” Stop that pattern now. Sit down with your spouse and find out the facts. Ask to participate in monthly bill paying sessions, quarterly sessions with a financial planner and larger discussions about how you will manage your assets together. Put simply: you cannot afford not to do so. Your own future, married, divorced or widowed may depend upon it.
In order to implement a plan of action, take these three simple steps to involve yourself with your money:
- Make a plan to discuss your money with your spouse;
- Make a plan to understand your assets with a financial planner or other professional, including budget tools, if offered;
- Make a plan to divide or share the monthly bill paying obligations with your spouse and be aware of budget numbers. Participate in setting and keeping budgets.
Taking these simple steps will give you confidence and strength in your marriage. If you are faced with the death of your spouse or even divorce, you will be far better able to participate in a fair division of assets and a clear understanding of them. Understanding is the beginning of participation. Participation allows you to have power. Equality around money in a marriage allows spouses to have more respect for the contributions of their partner. It also allows you to prepare for a future over which you may not have total control. Don’t cede your power by default or inaction. It’s your life. Make sure you play a role in managing it