4 Essential Questions to Ask Your Partner Before Getting Married

iQuanti: By the time you're ready to get married, you probably know a lot about your partner. You may be intimately familiar with their favorite foods, morning routine, and pet peeves. But a surprising number of couples go into marriage on entirely different pages regarding finances. 

Since financial management (or mismanagement) is a leading cause of divorce, it's important to ask questions to uncover financial habits and desires before saying "I do."  

Here are the four essential questions to ask your partner before getting married.  

1. Do You Want a Prenup?  

Prenuptial agreements (prenups) have gotten a bad rap as a way to safeguard assets when you don't really trust your partner. But when done from a place of love, that's not the goal of a prenup at all. If one or both partners are entering into the marriage with significant assets, a prenup can protect those assets while providing guidelines for managing finances and shared assets during the marriage. 

Understanding where your partner stands on a prenup can open the door to conversations that make both partners more comfortable with the idea. And since prenups require a lawyer and paperwork, you'll want to get the ball rolling on creating and validating the prenup well before the big day.  

2. What Debts Do You Have?  

Couples are quick to use the old "what's mine is yours" line, but it's a lot less fun when that applies to debt. It's essential to ask your partner about their existing debt burden and clarify if they expect that the debt will belong to you as a couple once you wed.  

Since debt load can influence credit score, it's also important to understand your partner's debt burden as it could potentially impact your ability to buy a home or make another large purchase in the future.  

3. Do You Have Life Insurance?  

Many single people forgo a life insurance policy when they're alone but choose to get one after they get married. That's a smart move since couples can use affordable term life insurance policies to support their new spouse and cover any remaining debt if something unexpected happens. 

If your partner has an existing term life insurance policy, ask if they plan to update the beneficiary designation following your big day. If there's no existing life insurance policy in place, it could be the right time to shop for a plan together to make sure you each have appropriate coverage in place.  

4. Do You Want to Combine Finances?  

There's no right or wrong when it comes to money management as a couple. Some couples combine every financial account, while others keep everything separate. Deciding ahead of time how you'll manage money in your marriage can help ensure there are no speedbumps when you put your plan into action.  

Creating joint accounts or adding your significant other to existing accounts can be time-consuming. But deciding ahead of time what you'll combine and what you'll keep separate means you can each begin to implement those changes right when you get down from the honeymoon high.  

The Bottom Line  

Getting married is an incredibly exciting time in the lives of any couple. And level-setting on key financial areas can ensure a smooth transition into married life. Be sure to openly (and without judgment) ask your partner about prenups, debt, life insurance, and whether they want to combine finances. Having this information ahead of time will make your married financial management much easier. 

Source: iQuanti, Inc.


Categories: Personal and Family Finances

Tags: Insurance, marriage, personal finance, prenups