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Finance discussions for married couples

Couples in Pennsylvania may want to talk about their finances for two reasons. One is that these are good conversations for all couples to have. The other is that it prepares them for the reality that some marriages may end in divorce, and the couple will have a good understanding of their finances going in.

Many marital problems occur as a result of disagreements over money, and working out a budget and family finances can help prevent these disagreements. This also ensures that each spouse has a good picture of the debts, assets and income that are both jointly and individually held. If either individual has brought debt into the marriage, both spouses should understand whether they are both responsible for the debt.

It is important that each spouse understands the details of any financial documents they are signing including tax returns and documents related to loans. Spouses who stay home to do the child rearing or for any other reason should maintain their professional networks so that they are able to return to the workforce later. Couples who want to prepare a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may want to have the documents reviewed by a professional. Couples should also understand what property is legally considered marital property.

Despite communication about finances, couples may find themselves facing divorce due to difficulties with money or for some other issue. If either spouse has not been fully involved with the family's finances, getting an understanding of these may be one of the first steps to take when considering divorce. In addition to property division, a divorcing spouse may also need to negotiate spousal support, child custody and child support. A family law attorney can often be of assistance in this regard.

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