It goes without saying that just as there are marriages, there are definitely divorces. There are definitely times when things fall apart, and there are definitely times where you have to start a new chapter in your life. You might have a business, or you might have family that is affected by the dissolution of a marriage.
Of course, you might also get lucky enough to meet someone that makes you happy again, enough to want to marry them. Is it all sunshine and rainbows from here? Not so fast — you will want to think about finances before anything else.
It might not seem romantic to talk about finances when you’re thinking about marrying for the second time, but it’s absolutely important. Your first marriage has all sorts of financial strings hanging around, and your second marriage may also. You will need to talk about where the newlyweds will live, and what your collective thoughts on finance really are.
You might be with someone that really isn’t into the finer things in life, while you really believe that getting high quality everything is very important. Can the two co-exist? Not easily; communication will have to be a top priority in order for big things to happen. You will also need to step back and realize that saving for the future is very important. If you already have kids, this means saving for their college education. Marrying someone that does not have children is also a time to talk about children. If you aren’t planning to have anymore children, this is something that needs to be brought out into the open. The last thing that you want to do is end up hiding your feelings, and causing resentment. What if they really wanted to have another child, and were hoping that you were okay with that? If you feel that having another child would just add unnecessary expenses to the budget sheet, then this is something that needs to be discussed right away.
What about the almighty pre-nup? If one person is making significantly more than the other, there might be concerns about divorce and the big payday that seems to pop up in high profile marriages. However, you don’t have to make it sound unromantic at all. Think about it — wouldn’t you want to protect your spouse during an era where all of the feelings are good? In a divorce, a lot of negative feelings can spill over and people that were once reasonable can do and say things that they really don’t mean — they’re just upset at the situation. Humans are human, and it’s important to stay logical when you can and try to minimize the damage when you can’t.
Getting help from personal finance professionals and attorneys is always a good thing — especially if there are assets being brought into the second marriage. Again, this is not just something that needs to be done by either potential spouse. If there are children involved, it’s equally important to protect all of the children that will be part of the marriage.
Is the person going to adopt all of the children? This can be an additional cost that needs to be worked into the marriage before anything else gets done.
Of course, you can’t have marriage without a wedding — or at least that’s what the media would like you to believe. You can always go down to the courthouse and get your marriage license, but you will also need to make sure that you go and really think about the type of ceremony you really want to have. Do you want to go all out merely because you think that you should, or do you want to save money and put it towards something that lasts more than just a day? We understand that marriage is actually a celebration, but you have to also step back and think about what type of life you want to build. If it’s your second marriage and both people are agreeable, toning down the celebration can be a good thing. Either way, both of you are going to have to come up with a budget that suits the two of you for the wedding.
Yet this is not the only place where budgets definitely reign supreme. You will want to make sure that you are building a budget that fits the needs that both of you have and use it in your home at all times. There’s nothing that says that a budget has to really be restrictive. It just has to be something that all of you can agree upon and follow through the month, no matter what.
Money is a touchy subject, and it gets touchier when we come to actual income. If one makes more than the other, they may feel like they have to put in more, or that more will be expected out of them. This can lead to a lot of feelings of regret and resentment, and those are two feelings you definitely don’t have to have creep their way into a marriage!
This is why the budget issue is something that should be confronted before the marriage is even part of the picture. You want to make sure that you are always keeping a lot of open dialogue. Otherwise you will end up feeling like you are being cheated, or the other person will end up feeling like they’ve been cheated.
The world of marriage is not easy — there are a lot of struggles ahead of you and a few confrontations. However, having a frank discussion up front is definitely the way to go. You might feel like this will cause problems and even make the other person leave you. However, if they really do want to be with for the rest of their lives, the time to really settle out all of these issues is definitely before the marriage exists, not after. If they can’t do that, then perhaps they just aren’t meant to be with you after all!