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Money can spark huge issues in relationships. In fact, financial problems are a leading cause of arguments, breakups, and divorces.

Finances are a contentious issue, especially when two people have fundamentally different ways of viewing and managing money. When a couple starts to make things more serious or decides to get married, there are some big financial issues that they will likely need to think about and discuss. Marriage ties your finances together legally, so it’s definitely something to discuss before getting hitched.

If you’re getting serious, getting married, or a money talk is long overdue, you might need to discuss these issues.

Should You Combine Finances?

For some people, the idea of not sharing finances as a couple just doesn’t make sense. Others can’t see sense in combining finances at all. This is a pretty significant issue that can cause friction if you’re not in agreement.

One thing to do is to explore what options are available. There are more than just two approaches, beyond completely separate or completely shared finances. Some couples choose to put a certain percentage of their salary in a joint account and keep the rest as personal money, for example.

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What Happens in a Divorce?

No one wants to think about divorce before you’re even married. However, the reality is that plenty of marriages do end in divorce, even if no one thinks that their own will. You could just say that you will work out all of the financial issues if it ever does happen. But it’s worth considering just how your finances might be handled in the event of a divorce.

Disentangling your finances in a high net worth divorce could be particularly complicated. A prenuptial agreement might not seem very romantic, but they can be practical. While they’re not formally legally binding in England and Wales, they can be upheld if they meet certain criteria.

Planning for the Future

If you’re planning to have a family and/or grow old together, that’s certainly something to consider in terms of finances. If you’re thinking about children, how are you going to manage your money where they are concerned? Planning for retirement is another big issue you think about. How are you saving and investing to make sure you can fund your retirement? What sort of lifestyle are you expecting to lead in retirement? To what extent do you want to curb your spending now in order to have a more comfortable life later?

Lending a Helping Hand

Another issue that can cause conflict between a couple is whether to help out family with money. For some people, this is a no-brainer, and you should do what you can to help your family. For others, it’s not necessarily so straightforward, and they might feel reluctant about supporting family members, especially on a long-term basis. This is an issue that definitely needs to be discussed so that a decision or compromise can be reached.

Couples need to look at the big financial issues and be sure to discuss them. Don’t let them cause problems down the line.