Understanding finances in a marriage

| Jan 15, 2020 | divorce

According to a study by Fidelity Investments, most people recover emotionally and financially from divorce after about five years. Another finding was that the majority of people who did not have much involvement in the family finances regretted it in the divorce. Financial recovery was also more difficult for them. This kind of situation can be prevented, and there are steps people in Florida can take to protect themselves in the event of divorce or losing a spouse.

First, regardless of who handles the day-to-day finances in the home, both people should be informed. This means both spouses should look over tax returns and be aware of what is in retirement and bank accounts. Major financial decisions should be made jointly. Communication is also important. According to the Fidelity survey, 14% of people learned about hidden debt during the divorce process and 10% learned about hidden assets. Finally, people may want to consider getting a prenuptial agreement if they are not yet married. If they are already married, they may want to consider a postnuptial agreement. This may protect assets that people get after marriage, such as an inheritance.

The Fidelity survey also found that just 60% of women participated in long-term financial planning in their marriage. Women who were married for at least 21 years tended to have the least knowledge about family finances.

People who are considering divorce and who do not know much about the family finances may want to start by collecting as many records as possible. This could include bank statements, tax returns and any information from investments. An attorney might be able to help in reviewing these documents and determining how property might be divided in a divorce. A person who is concerned about a spouse hiding assets may also want to discuss these concerns with the attorney.