Marrying for a second – or third – time isn’t as uncommon as it used to be. For people who’ve been through divorce, there’s no better feeling than getting your life back on track. Oftentimes, the cycle is only complete when you decide to marry again.
Divorcees understand better than anybody the financial toll of marriage. It’s often said that finances are the number one cause of breakups. Unfortunately, the financial burden usually gets worse through divorce.
If you’re entering a second or third (or third) marriage, there are practical financial pointers you can apply to your current relationship. Below, I’ve compiled them into four main points. Life isn’t always about money, so try not to let money get in the way of your marriage.
Handling daily finances
Deciding to remarry doesn’t necessarily mean joining up your finances – at least, not initially. Maintaining separate bank accounts can be a healthy way to start a marriage, especially if you and your spouse are both working.
At the same time, you and your spouse need to delegate finances. Who will cover housing costs, groceries, auto payments, savings? Whether you decide to go 50/50 or split the duties some other way, it’s vital that you make a plan and stick to it. You don’t need to monitor every penny leaving your spouse’s bank account; all you need to do is ensure that the bills are being looked after and that there are no surprises.
Long-term financial goals
So, you’ve delegated daily finances, but what about long-term goals? Do you and your spouse plan to own a home, save for retirement or prepare for the next recession by owning bitcoin and precious metals? These are conversations that need to be had, preferably with a financial advisor, to ensure you have a reasonable plan for meeting your goals.
Selecting asset classes to invest in isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have a background in finance or capital markets. Sit down with your spouse and decide what you want out of your financial future – put down actual numbers and target dates. Then visit an advisor to see how you will achieve it.
If you’re onto a second or third marriage, there’s a pretty good chance that wills and estates need to be updaated. That’s because second marriages can revoke previous wills, depending on how they’ve been set up.
Your new will needs to take into account not only your new spouse, but their children and relatives as well. Blended families can be a wonderful thing, but they also create the potential for conflict over money, real estate and other finances. So, please, update your will to ensure everything is in order – and to prevent ex-spouses from coming back into the picture to collect.
I saved the dreaded ‘p’ word until the very last. You might be thinking, there’s no way I can mention prenup to my spouse!
Actually, you can. Prenups are no big deal. With divorce rates hovering around 50%, prenups don’t carry the same stigma they once did. The prenup is a healthy conversation for engaged couples to have. After all, life changes, things happen, and divorce sometimes follow. If accidental death and dismemberment insurance is a thing, then there should be some room to discuss prenuptial agreements.
That just about covers it. With a little planning, well-guided expectations and lots of communication, there’s no reason to let finances stand in the way of your new marriage.