True or false?
- Sharing all your money as a couple is a sign of your commitment to each other
- Signing a pre-nuptial agreement shows you don't trust each other
- Having some money of your own to control is a sign of self-worth and dignity.
Actually, there's no right or wrong answer to these questions. Some couples share everything. Others don't. It all depends on how you like to handle money, and what feels right to you as a couple. Also, it can be harder to decide if:
- One or both of you have been married before
- One or both of you have children from a previous marriage
- One of you has a lot more wealth or more debt than the other
- One of you is going to stop working in order to raise your children.
For example, suppose your partner has no debts, but you owe $30,000 on a student loan. Even if you agree to be responsible for paying off your own debt, that money will still come out of your total combined income. That means there's less money left for buying or saving as a couple.
What the law says
Even if you keep your finances separate, the law has a different view. In legal terms, once you marry, you share everything with your partner. This is also true if you have a common-law spouse.
Make sure you both understand how your money choices can affect your marriage today and your financial future.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca