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Family law advice also valuable before marriage

When a person in Ontario marries another person, there are several financial changes to which each party will have to adjust. Each one will most likely have to adopt a new financial role and get used to the adjusted pattern. Most couples enter marriages with individual ideas about spending versus saving, and they will have to decide whether they will pool their incomes or keep it separate. When it comes to family law, there are many sources of advice on how best to handle marital finances, and many people believe adjusting to a new spouse's financial personality is even more challenging in a second or subsequent marriage.

For individuals to change set ideas about debts and investments, it is not easy to adjust without giving it some time. In the case of a second marriage, additional problems that may arise include one spouse having other responsibilities such as alimony and child support. He or she may also have to pay property buy-out installments to a former spouse. Furthermore, they may be concerned about how their pension funds will be affected.

If the new marriage follows a former spouse's death or a divorce, new couples may have different ideas about prenuptial agreements, life insurance and other estate planning matters. Additional challenges can arise if one or both new spouses have children from a prior marriage. Along with child support obligations, planning may be necessary for college tuition and other future costs.

Money is said to be the cause for many divorces in Ontario, and to manage these stressors in a new marriage, it might be wise to use the support and guidance of an experienced family law lawyer from the onset. A lawyer is not only there for those going through divorces but also to advise and provide valuable input before the marriage. He or she can assist with the drafting of a prenuptial agreement to protect the assets of both partners and to set ground rules for how they will handle the financial side of the marriage in a way that will not jeopardize their happiness.

Source: getsmarteraboutmoney.ca, "Managing money in a second relationship", Accessed on Nov. 17, 2017

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