Key Questions to Discuss Before Getting Hitched

By Lisa Meidl 

It’s wedding season! Before tying the knot though, couples would be wise to discuss a few questions recommended by financial, legal and marriage experts (especially if this isn’t a first marriage).

  • What behavior patterns do you exhibit when facing a life challenge?
  • How do you handle money when you don’t have enough or you get a windfall?
  • What are your expectations for associating with your extended family and how will your partner be included or expected to participate?
  • What is your expectation as to what happens to your home should you or your spouse die, or you divorce?
  • What’s yours right now in terms of possessions, debts and financial assets? (Make a list.)
  • Do you need life insurance to keep your partner secure when you die?
  • Will you pool your money or will you keep separate accounts?
  • What are your big picture goals in terms of retirement, living expenses, lifestyle and where you will live?
  • Are you on track for reaching financial goals or do you need to adjust them?
  • What is each person’s role with the other’s children?

Lauren Papp, director of UW’s Couples Lab, also recommends reading “Fighting for Your Marriage,” by Howard Markman, Scott Stanley and Susan Blumberg and “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” by John Gottman and Nan Silver.

Read the full story about what to consider before a second marriage in our July issue on P. 22.

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