Is Your Partner a Good Money Match?

An eight-step guide to keeping your love life in line with your financial goals.


When you're breaking up:

7. Don't ignore the possibility of this moment. It's not as romantic as discussing flower arrangements for the wedding, but the risk of a break-up is a reality. To protect yourself, make sure you share money management responsibilities, so one person isn't the sole bookkeeper, or investor, or bill-payer. Each person should know the passwords and locations for all accounts.

8. Separate your credit. Unfortunately, credit scores can stay intertwined long after a marriage ends. If you are still registered as a co-owner of a credit card that is also used by your ex-spouse, you are considered responsible for that debt, regardless of the state of your marriage. (In some states, all accounts opened during marriage are considered joint, regardless of whose name is on them.) Post-divorce credit problems, which are common, usually can be avoided by closing joint accounts.

The good news: Financial disagreements might be one of the most common causes of relationship tension, but they can be significantly improved with a little effort.

Kimberly Palmer (@alphaconsumer) is the author of the book Generation Earn: The Young Professional's Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back .