Getting married can result in a number of immediate changes: You might take a different name or you may move into a new home with your spouse. Many couples also choose to immediately combine finances and take the phrase “What’s mine is yours,” quite literally.
But is it possible that combining finances could be adding unnecessary and avoidable stress to a young marriage? Considering the fact that money is often a significant factor for people who ultimately divorce, it may be a good idea for couples to at least consider their options when it comes to merging finances.
For example, a recent article focused on one couple who has been married for over 13 years. They say that managing their finances separately has helped them stay happily married.
The couple in the article has approached their finances in a very realistic way. She is frugal and likes to save her money, while he is more likely to spend money when it’s available. Rather than try to change each other’s financial habits, the couple simply agreed to keep some of their own money separate. They have a joint account which both of them contribute to and use to pay for shared expenses like their mortgage, but they also have separate accounts that they use and fund as individuals.
The husband and wife say that managing their finances in this way has prevented serious fights over how to spend or save money and has given them each the freedom to use their own money as they see fit.
This is certainly not an appropriate solution for every couple, but it is one that many people may want to consider. Money is very powerful and getting married can put enormous pressure on spouses to reassess how they want to manage their money. It can be helpful to consult an attorney during this process in order to examine how a financial plan can be protected and how that plan might impact the division of property in the event of a divorce.
Whether a couple decides to merge finances and debt or they choose to take a less comprehensive approach, taking this issue seriously and tackling it as a team can be quite beneficial for a marriage in the long run.
Source: Business Insider, “This couple has been married 13 years and still keeps most of their money separate,” Gerri Detweiler, Feb. 16, 2015