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3 tips from experts to dodge the divorce bullet

Before heading off into marital bliss, it's important to get to know your prospective spouse and his or her views on important matters.

Those in the forefront of American divorces — family law attorneys, financial planners and mediators — share their collective wisdom and offer some tips to those who are contemplating marriage.

Discuss your attitudes toward money and spending

The head of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers stated that "[m]ost people don't understand how important it is for spouses to have similar financial goals and habits." Fiscally responsible spouses who wed those who are heavily indebted to credit card companies should not be surprised when their husband or wife has trouble reining in spending habits.

Become a better budgeter

Since cheating and money issues are the two most common factors that contribute to divorce, it's worth it to sit down and communicate about short- and long-term goals involving money. Are you working towards the same end, or are the two of you focused on different values?

Keep excellent financial records

Whether you opt for a prenup or not, as California is a community property state, it's important to be able to prove what was separate, pre- and post-marital property in the event that divorce looms. This means no commingling of separate funds with marital funds. A good way to dodge that bullet is to keep a separate bank account for that money.

Sometimes divorce happens to good people, and it's inevitable that some marriages will fail. While divorce should never be a goal entering the marriage, planning for your post-marital life is essential to your financial and emotional well-being. Enlist the help of legal and mental health professionals to get you through the process as unscathed as possible.

Source: Redbook, "11 Things Divorce Experts Wish You Knew Before You Got Married," Beth Kaufman, accessed Jan. 12, 2018

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