Considering The Financials Of Moving In Together
Making The Decision
It is no secret that moving in with your partner is a big decision and a significant forward step in a relationship. When you are thinking of making this change, you should be sure to consider all of the impacts it will have to your lifestyle, which includes financial matters.
While some of these may be relatively straightforward, there are a number of likely changes that will occur when moving in with a spouse that you should consider.
Coming Together As A Household
Different people have different styles for handling money, and combining living arrangements with a partner means you both may need to adjust to cater to for different financial styles. This can involve habits for both spending and saving cash, attitudes to financial responsibilities and the variation in wage and expenditure between the two of you.
Try to have an upfront and honest conversation about your finances prior to moving in together, taking the time to discuss your financial statuses, needs, expectations and requirements. If you want to be truly prepared for living together, this may involve disclosing your personal savings and debts, as well as any future financial goals and obligations on your horizon.
As a couple, consider how you will share any regular expenses, working together to produce a joint budget to cover them. Also, work out between you which financial responsibilities will be tasked to each household member and which will be shared.
A simple and popular way to take care of any combined expenses is to open a joint bank account or credit card. Make sure that if you intend on doing this you set clear limits and ground rules for this account.
What Does It Mean In The Eyes Of The Law
In accordance with Australian Law, couples living together for two years or longer are considered to have rights equal to married couples in the same situation if the relationship is to break down. This means that if a de facto couple were to separate then individuals may have the right to claims of property settlement, superannuation and spousal maintenance.
A couple can be considered as de facto if they have been sharing a domestic living arrangement for this time – even in a situation where a member of the couple is legally married to another person or spends only some of their time living there. This can influence both individual assets brought into the relationship as well as accumulated assets through its duration.
Protecting Your Personal Assets
If you wish to protect your personal assets, some couples elect to enter binding legal agreements, similar to a prenuptial agreement in a marriage, to dictate how assets and property will be split in the event of a relationship breakdown. This is however, a specialist area and successful challenges have been made against these types of documents in the past, making good legal advice for this particularly important.
You should also consider putting an estate plan in place if you don’t have one, or if you do, updating it to reflect your changed circumstances. You should consult a financial adviser and legal advice when considering any of these options.
Get Together And Make A Plan
Taking the time to discuss and plan for the financials of a joint living arrangement can provide clarity and security to both parties involved at what can be a particularly exciting time for your relationship. Though it’s often not what you want to think about at a time like this, sometimes relationships don’t work out, and having a plan in place in the event this happens to you can help to ensure your future, personal well-being.
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