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Financial conversations can help prevent divorce conflict

Finances are one of the most contentious issues couples face. However, there are many things couples can do to make financial decisions easier at every step in the relationship. While no marriage in Alberta begins with the intention of ending in divorce, key conversations early in a relationship can help ease the financial stress if a break up does take place.

Clarifying a partner's financial situation and sharing one's own before co-habiting or getting engaged is a good idea for any couple. Marital issues can arise if there is a lack of information, while a misunderstanding about a spouse's assets can cause much more stress in a divorce. Once the details of debt, credit scores and assets have been shared, couples should set up a plan for how they will share financial obligations.

Many young adults bring student debt into their relationships and marriages, so this is a particularly important issue to discuss. Partners should decide whether they want to handle student debt together or separately. The same decision should be made with regards to shared bank accounts. In the case of a break up, the debt will legally only be the responsibility of the partner who accrued it if it was acquired before the marriage.

Those bringing assets into a marriage, especially if they have been married before, may consider a prenuptial agreement. Money issues are one of the top reasons people divorce in Alberta and across the country, making it a key issue in the legal proceedings that follow. Those who are going through a divorce or separation should contact a local family lawyer.

Source: ca.finance.yahoo.com, "Tidy up your finances before you tie the knot", Jeanie Ahn, Dec. 1, 2017

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