The idea of planning ahead for divorce might seem odd to a New Jersey couple. However, the recognition that things could change in the future makes it prudent to pay close attention to financial issues from the beginning of a union. Even if divorce never becomes a reality, these factors are important for the financial health of a couple throughout their lives.
One of the most basic financial needs in a marriage is to be jointly aware of the details. Even if one partner primarily handles all bills and transactions, the other needs to know the status of accounts in case a medical emergency or other serious problem arises. Working with a budget is also beneficial to ensure that partners are working toward common goals and living within their means. Financial decisions may come up from time to time, but clear understanding is advisable before signing any formal documents. It is not wise to sign away one’s right to a spouse’s pension or to allow the titling of property to be changed strictly to one name. In situations involving requests of this sort, it may be wise to get the opinion of a lawyer.
In some cases, couples decide after marrying to create a post-nuptial agreement. With such agreements, it is imperative that both parties have their own lawyers review the terms to ensure that the matter is handled fairly and legally. Additionally, both partners should have a clear understanding of the difference between their separate property and marital property. Putting separate assets into both names may cause those assets to become joint holdings.
If a couple does end up facing divorce proceedings, it may be possible to arrive at a financial agreement without having to go into a court setting. However, it is also wise to have independent legal representation to ensure that an agreement is fair and enforceable.