Marriage and Money

Today TaxMama hears from Pradeep, who just got back from a wonderful, full weekend of family wedding festivities. This reminds me of all the delightful weddings coming up this summer – in the lives of all our families and friends.  So let’s talk about marriage and money.

Dear Friends,

Marriages always start out with utter joy. Too many end in bitter feuding. Let’s avoid that, OK?

In days of yore, when people got married, either they had known each other and their families within the community for much of their lives, or they were arranged marriages for financial or political benefit. Today, couples get married for ‘love’.

Love is blind. Truly blind. Couples find it impossible to see each others faults, or flaws, or inconsistencies. If only relationships continued on blindly for life – with a loving overlay to hide all the imperfections. Instead, all those cute, charming peculiarities and differences become the very thing you come to hate about each other. Why?

Usually, the relationship spoiler boils down to money issues. No one discussed them up front. You didn’t face up to the different way you each look at money and spending. And one of you probably never revealed your tax debts to the other. Uh oh!

In the relationships that tend to survive for life, you find the couple has openly discussed everything. Laid out the good, the bad and the shameful. In fact, I’ve many  people come to me over the years to file several years worth of back tax returns because their fiancé(e) would not marry them until they were caught up with their tax obligations. Or at least, until they knew what the debt would be so they could face it together.

Then there are the relationships that break my heart. For instance, “Mr. Executive” neglected to tell his bride (in a quickie marriage) that he owed over $10,000 in back taxes (from a previous marriage). Of course, this all came to light after he had been unemployed through most of their relationship and helped her squander her savings and inheritance. (It didn’t take him long to dissipate a couple of hundred thousand dollars.)

It takes courage to avoid these traps, when you’re in love. But there are ways to find the truth.  Please, read about the Unromantic Money and Tax Talk to Have Before Marriage on the Equifax Personal Finance Blog.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about marriage, divorce and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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