Combining finances after marriage
Getting married results in major life changes from top to bottom—and your significant other may not necessarily be your financial soul mate. However, finding a way to blend your financial habits is an important facet of the marriage relationship.
Marriage involves incorporating another person into your life in financial and legal ways. If you choose to take your spouse’s last name, you will need to notify the Social Security Administration and make changes to other identifying documents including your driver’s license or passport. And be sure to notify credit card companies of your name and any address change.
If you choose to make property and accounts jointly owned, you’ll need to notify your financial institutions and insurance companies to have them change account titles. And don’t forget to notify your employer to help you make any changes to the benefits you receive.
Review your beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, accidental death & dismemberment policies and retirement accounts and decide whether you want to name your new spouse as beneficiary. If your spouse will be driving your car, you’ll want to add him or her as an additional driver on your policy. Estate planning documents such as wills and trusts should be reviewed too, to ensure that they reflect your intentions as a married couple.
Be aware that alimony and support payments are affected. Alimony payments often cease when a receiving spouse remarries. The amount of payments can also change for a spouse with custody who is receiving child support. If you have been receiving Social Security benefits based on a prior marriage, these likely will end so you may need to adjust your budget.
Your tax filing status may change, as well.
Facing financial concerns and working together to deal with them will help get your marriage started on the right track financially. Establish financial goals for your new family, create a realistic budget and pay into an emergency fund for a rainy day. Try your best to be financially fit and make time to review and plan for the future.