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Disputes may be avoided by talking about money before marriage

The holiday season often brings a feeling of romance, which turns many Louisiana couples to thoughts of engagement and marriage. Soon, the two may begin planning their wedding, reception and honeymoon, interspersed with decisions about where and how they will live. It may seem that discussing finances soon after a proposal is not very romantic, but having a frank conversation now may prevent future disputes over money, the most common cause of divorce.

The first thing financial planners suggest is that couples share their philosophies of money. While one person may feel that money is meant to be enjoyed, the other may see money as something to save and protect as security. Establishing these differences, which often stem from a person's upbringing, will help the two reach a common attitude about their future.

Entwined with one's philosophy of money are one's financial goals. Together, a couple should determine if they want to travel, save for a house, raise a family or retire early. Each should write down short and long-term goals for life as well as finances.

Both should reveal their assets and liabilities: investments, savings accounts, debts etc. This would also be a good time to discuss day-to-day money operations in one's future family. The discussion may include topics such as who will pay the bills, whether both spouses will work when children come, how much debt the couple will incur and what their monthly budget will look like. Many of these decisions can be included in a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement.

Communication is the best way to prevent disputes in a marriage. The most common disputes often involve misunderstandings about finances. Discussing a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement with a Louisiana attorney is one way to anticipate future disagreements. To protect one's own interests, it is recommended that each person have his or her own attorney to walk them through the options that may pertain to their unique circumstances.

Source: businessinsider.com, "8 money conversations every couple should have before getting engaged", Emmie Martin, Dec. 12, 2016

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