In marriage as in life, there are few guarantees, and one of them is this: You will have to address your finances together, and in some depth. Whether you get married in your 20s or your 50s, you may suddenly find yourself party to someone else's credit-card debt, child-support commitment, student loans or foreclosure history -- or you may be involving your spouse in your own financial baggage.
Romantic? No. But it's a fact of modern coupling. Even if you have no monetary skeletons in your closet, marriage links you to someone else financially in a way that requires, at minimum, some thoughtful decisions. Who will pay the bills? How will you divide expenses? Will you combine everything? Nothing? Some things?
Another guarantee: If you don't talk about money now, you will be talking about it later, and perhaps not quite as calmly.
These five tips can help the newly married begin to work out their new, joint financial status and hopefully avoid the fiscal marriage meltdown that affects so many couples down the road. The first bit of advice is the most obvious one -- and is, in fact, a key to overall marital bliss.