Getting Married – Three Uncomfortable Questions You May Need to Ask First

June 15, 2023
Filipe Bastos

Getting married is a cornerstone event in adult life, and one of the greatest joys you can experience personally – signifying as it does, a newfound life with someone uniquely special. Marriages are on the decline, owing to a number of cultural factors, but there are still hundreds of thousands of special days per year

You and a loved one may be looking forward to your big day in the coming years, but marriage is a massive commitment – even if you have been together for some time. It can help, before going through with such a fundamental commitment, to broach some difficult questions first. What are they?

Why are We Getting Married?

This is a fundamental question, and a fundamentally awkward one to ask – after all, it should be obvious to all concerned why marriage is on the table. But asking it can be a useful entry-point into talking around your future as a couple. Are you getting married as a romantic gesture, or has it been a long time coming? Is your marriage purely a token of love, or are you doing it to benefit from specific tax benefits? This leads into another difficult question, relating to your joint financial situation. 

What Do We Do With Our Money?

In marriage, the sharing of a life often becomes the sharing of assets. What’s mine is yours, this home is ours, our life is one we build together co-operatively, and so on. There are also some legal bases for the sharing of assets, specifically those attained after marriage. These are called matrimonial assets, and can include everything from property to pension plans.

Matrimonial assets can also be a sticking point for if divorce becomes an unfortunate eventuality. Knowing how you intend to handle your finances in marriage, and in the event of separation, can make your marriage all the smoother; consulting with a third-party mediator is a smart way to address this question without inadvertently fostering any acrimony between you.

How Will We Raise Our Children?

Assuming that children are a possibility later in your life together, it is especially important that you align well when it comes to your hopes for a future family. This question is a purposefully broad one, and encompasses a number of key decisions that can each form their own sticking point on the journey to building a family.

For one, choosing where you’d like to settle down may be impacted by the ideal circumstances you would like any potential children to enjoy. For example, one of you may have a specific idea of which school, or which kind of school, any children should attend. Religion is also a major topic of conversation in this regard. Today, it is extremely common for couples to find common ground and build a life together despite holding different religious beliefs; how might this be managed in raising a child together?

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