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Why 'money dates' while married can be crucial if you divorce

It's been well-documented that disagreements about finances can take a toll on a marriage and even be one of the key predictors of eventual divorce. Just recently, we discussed some lies that spouses tell each other about money that can signal trouble in the marriage.

It's pretty clear that it's best for the health of a marriage when couples are open and honest about money. It's also usually best if they have the same values when it comes to spending and saving.

One long-time financial advisor and executive at a financial planning firm recommends that couples have "money dates" on at least a monthly basis. He contends that these regular "dates" are important even if one spouse is primarily responsible for the family's finances. They can help ensure that both spouses are aware of the state of their finances, including investments and expenditures, and are in agreement on their financial goals.

In fact, on the topic of who should be responsible for managing the family finances, he says, "In households, there is only one CFO," which can be either spouse. However, that doesn't mean that the other spouse can or should be left in the dark -- thus the "money dates."

In addition to being aware and in agreement with how the household money is being managed, these regular meetings keep the spouse who is not the household's chief financial officer knowledgeable about the couple's money in case something happens to the other one. This can be an advantage whether the marriage ends in divorce or death.

When your marriage ends in divorce, having a full and accurate picture of your spouse's income, your joint accounts and bills that will continue after you separate can help you and your family law attorney work towards a settlement that will provide you with the assets you need as you move forward.

Source: Yahoo! Finance, "'Money dates' could save your marriage," Susannah Lee, May. 14, 2015

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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