Determine whether Future Spouse Is Financially Compatible

By: John Hilaire

Before considering marriage, you and your partner should take the time to complete and thoroughly discuss the following questionnaire. This questionnaire will help you assess your "Financial Compatibility."

The rules for the questionnaire are simple and straightforward: On a separate sheet of paper, you and your partner independently answer each question, with one to three-sentence responses.

Be detailed and thorough. Be totally honest and understand that there are no wrong answers. After you each have completed the questionnaire, discuss your answers, without arguing. And finally, the goals are to become more aware of each other's financial past and present, and to understand your money-management differences and resolve them.

1. What is your annual income?
2. How much money do you currently have in your checking account?
3. If you have a savings account, how much money do you currently have in it? If you don't have an account, why not?
4. How much total debt do you currently have?
5. What is the amount of each of your debts?
6. For debt that is not self-explanatory, for example, credit-card debt, can you explain what it is attributed to (be specific)? If not, why not?
7. Do you know your partner's annual income? If so, are you okay with it? If you're not okay with your partner's income, why aren't you?
8. Do you plan to have a joint or separate savings account, or both?
9. Do you plan to have a joint or separate checking account, or both?
10. How do you plan to share or divide the household bills and expenses?
11. Where do you plan for the bulk of the money to go after marriage (for example: a big house, luxury cars, wardrobe, investments, vacations or children's education)?
12. How much money do you plan to save each month?
13. How much money do you plan to invest each month?
14. Do you plan for you or your partner to be the main handler of the money/bills? What is the rationale for your choice?
15. Do you plan to change your earning potential after marriage (like change professions, quit your job or become a full-time student)? If so, explain.
16. Do you think that your partner may hide information about his/her financial past or present from you? If so, why?
17. What should be the maximum your partner can spend without first sharing the information with you?
18. What do you like or dislike about your current financial condition and views on money management? What about your partner's?
19. What would you change/improve about your current financial condition and views on money management? What about your partner's?
20. How is your credit rating: good, fair or bad? Explain.
21. Would you be willing to prepare and sign a prenuptial/post-nuptial agreement if your partner wanted you to?

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