Financial pros and cons of getting remarried

There’s nothing simple about getting remarried, especially not the math.

Financial pros and cons of getting married

If you are considering getting married for a second or third time, most financial advisors suggest facing financial realities and asking tough questions before heading to the altar.

In making the financial case against remarriage, there are three factors that can make things a bit trickier:

1) You receive alimony from a previous marriage – that will end if you remarry and possibly even if you simply cohabitate

2) You’re collecting Social Security from a previous marriage – this also becomes subject to change.

3) One or more of your children is seeking college financial aid – qualifying calculations may include income of either parent’s current spouse.

If you do decide to take the plunge and remarry, it’s vital you discuss all aspects of your financial history. Some common scenarios include:

• One spouse may have bad credit or excessive debt.

• One of you might pay or receive alimony or child support.

• You bring different amounts of income and assets to the marriage.

• You have disparate attitudes toward money based on upbringing and life experience.

On the planning side, many financial experts advise having separate and shared banking accounts.

Not only does this allow for some independence and keep financial matters related to children from a previous marriage separate, it also hedges against potential downside.

While you’ll each have your own credit report, joint credit obligations show up on both of your credit reports. If one person fails to pay their portion in the event of a breakup, it’s a double negative as both credit reports will be adversely affected.

On the flip side, financial guru Dave Ramsey cautions against keeping separate accounts. He contends, “when you handle your money together, you are agreeing on your hopes, dreams and goals.”

After counseling thousands of families, he and his team believe more marriages are saved over resolving financial issues than any other.

(c) 2013 USA TODAY

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