Managing your Finances

Couple managing their financesFinances after remarriage can be far more complicated than after your first marriage.

Each of you will bring good and bad financial habits and obligations possibly including financial obligations to your previous family.

So how should you tackle your finances after remarriage?

Full Financial Disclosure

Fill each other in on your financial situation. An open discussion with both yours and your future spouse's financial documents in front of you is essential. This financial "show and tell" should include:

  • Credit history
  • Saving
  • Insurance
  • 401k
  • Assets  (car, boat)
  • Loans
  • Alimony, child support
  • Income

This is just a sampling and you should include other documents that are necessary.

Financial Planning

You need to set up a financial plan together. You can do this yourself or you can use a financial planner.

Assets

Determine what assets will be separate and what will be co-mingled. This has implications if you divorce again and documentation may be required so consult a lawyer to protect separate assets you agree on.

Expenses and Debt

Again divide up expenses into those you will each be responsible for and what you will be jointly responsible for. Do the same thing with any debt.

Going over finances

Income

Now finally look at your income and see how this will cover the expenses and debt you have agreed on. Finally you should have some extra income left over. Decide how this will be allocated. Make sure you have some liquid assets built up that you can access quickly in case of emergency.

Documents

Look over insurance policies, 401k and other assets and be prepared to update the beneficiaries if necessary. Also don't forget to update your will to reflect your new status if needed.

Taxes

Getting married has tax implications. Bring the information you have gathered so far to your accountant and understand the tax implications.  You may no longer receive alimony on remarriage so income might be reduced and getting married may move you into a higher tax bracket.

Agreement

Finally write up your financial plan and each keep a copy. You can have a financial planner or accountant review it before you commit to implementing it. You can also consult a lawyer for any future legal implications.

Implement

Legal parts of the agreement may not be enforceable unless signed after the marriage takes place. An example of this is if one you wants to keep an asset in the event of a divorce. A notarized statement should be signed after the marriage not before. Consult a lawyer to understand the legal requirements to any agreement you set up.

Review

Review your financial status and agreement 6 months and a year after your wedding  and see if it is working for you both. Remember this document is a living agreement. Your situation will change over time and you should sit down and adjust the agreement to cover any new financial situations.

Get Professional Help

It is highly advisable to get financial and legal advice because unlike your first marriage, you are bringing real financial baggage into the new marriage. If you have children from your first marriage, you need to ensure they are taken care of financially under all possible outcomes. If you have a second divorce, depends on your age, it may be difficult to start over. Having an agreement that protects some of your assets in the event of a divorce is important.