Planning for Remarriage

If you're planning to remarry, you must decide how you and your fiance will combine your finances, and you'll need to plan a financial strategy that considers the assets, liabilities, and financial responsibilities that each partner brings to the marriage. You'll find that financial planning for marriage is more complicated than it was the first time you got married, because your life isn't as simple now. You may have acquired more assets. You may have children now. You may want to plan more carefully this time, now that you're familiar with the financial consequences of divorce or the death of a spouse. You're older, perhaps substantially older, and you and your spouse may be concerned with retirement and/or estate planning.

Tip: Many of the issues you face will be no different than the issues individuals marrying for the first time must deal with. These issues include budgeting, savings and investments, insurance issues, integrating employee and retirement benefits, and property ownership issues.

What obligations from your past can haunt your future marriage?

Debts and bad credit

It's not uncommon to have extensive debt and a less-than-spotless credit history, particularly if you've been through a divorce. However, debt and/or credit problems that either of you have can affect whether or not you can obtain credit as a couple once you're married and can lead to arguments that can strain your marriage. Before remarrying, make sure that you and your fiance understand what debts each of you owe and determine whether one or both of you have marks on your credit history. Consider ordering copies of both your credit reports from a major credit reporting bureau, then sit down and honestly discuss your current financial position. Even if you're embarrassed about how much you owe or how poor your credit history is, don't hide that information from your partner. Although he or she may be surprised to find out that you've had past financial problems, it's better to disclose this.

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