Discussing Financial Issues: More Than Dollars and Cents

Posted by Erin Birt | Nov 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

Finances can be the source of many problems in a relationship. It is not merely the nuts and bolts of whether you will have joint accounts or maintain separate accounts, or who is responsible for paying which bills. Having mutually agreed to goals and processes for saving and spending money can be important to the health of a relationship as well as post divorce.

Discussing Financial Issues During Relationship

As discussed in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, People's spending habits and other money issues are often overlooked in premarital planning, developing shared financial goals and expectations should include the following tips:

  • openly discussing spending habits, assets, liabilities and financial goals;
  • agreeing in advance on how spending and saving decisions will be made;
  • forming common expectations on your standard of living, such as how large of a home do you want, how much do you want to spend on cars, what kind of vacations do you expect to take.

As a mediator and family law attorney, I am available to help you develop a legal and personal plan for your future financial arrangements. Using my legal services collaboratively with my financial colleagues can set you on the path for building a strong relationship whether it is your first or second marriage.

Discussing Financial Issues During Divorce

A few additional tips that can assist you when working with a family law or divorce attorney:

  • Set monthly financial meetings with your partner/spouse so that both are knowledgeable about their financial circumstances;
  • Ask your attorney about financial programs that can help you budget not only your living expenses but also your legal expenses should the need arise
  • Keep your attorney informed by updating and providing your financial statements every 60 days.
  • Consider an Illinois Collaborative Divorce process to adequately address all financial issues.

A special thanks is owed to Attorney Kory Atkinson for bringing this great article to our attention and generously contributing to this blog. Mr. Atkinson focuses on Estate Planning, Corporate & Non-Profit Governance, Real Estate Tax Matters, and Election Matters. If you want to know more about financial planning, get in touch with us here.

About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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