Q: My fiancé and I are getting married this month for the first time and we’ve run into a conflict concerning finances. Should we have joint or separate current accounts after we’re married? What are your thoughts?
A: Opinions on this question vary, but as we see it, a “yours and mine” mentality is not conducive to a healthy, happy marriage. A husband and wife are not two people who happen to sleep in the same bed but who lead separate and independent lives. On the contrary, marriage is best and most fulfilling when both are “all in” and cast their lot together for better or worse. The sharing of your financial assets is an important part of sharing life as a whole. And this includes the establishment of joint accounts.
In some cases, special circumstances may necessitate opening separate accounts for separate things – a personal business venture, for instance. But for the most part it’s best to handle your finances as a team. If both of you will be working outside the home, you can put all of your earnings into one account and then agree that each of you will receive an equal share of monthly “allowance.” That’s the simplest way to keep yourselves accountable to one another.
If you’re uneasy with this arrangement, you need to determine why. You’ve given us few details about your relationship with your fiancé, so we really aren’t in a position to comment on this aspect of your question. We can only tell you that if two people don’t feel they can trust or ought to be accountable to one another, they would be well-advised to re-evaluate their marriage plans, or at least get some serious premarital counselling. It’s best to resolve issues of this nature before tying the knot.
If you could use some help sorting this out, call our Family Support Services at 03-7954 7920 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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