Finances can be the source of many problems in a relationship. It is not merely the nuts and bolts of whether you will have joint accounts or maintain separate accounts, or who is responsible for paying which bills. Having mutually agreed to goals and processes for saving and spending money can be important to the health of a relationship. As discussed in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, People’s spending habits and other money issues are often overlooked in premarital planning, developing shared financial goals and expectations should include the following tips:

  • openly discussing spending habits, assets, liabilities and financial goals;
  • agreeing in advance on how spending and saving decisions will be made;
  • forming common expectations on your standard of living, such as how large of a home do you want, how much do you want to spend on cars, what kind of vacations do you expect to take.

As a mediator and family law attorney, I am available to help you develop a legal and personal plan for your future financial arrangements. Using my legal services collaboratively with my financial colleagues can set you on the path for building a strong relationship whether it is your first or second marriage.

A few additional tips that can assist you when working with a family law or divorce attorney:

  • Set monthly financial meetings with your partner/spouse so that both are knowledgeable about their financial circumstances;
  • Ask your attorney about financial programs that can help you budget not only your living expenses but also your legal expenses should the need arise
  • Keep your attorney informed by updating and providing your financial statements every 60 days.

A special thanks is owed to Attorney Kory Atkinson for bringing this great article to our attention and generously contributing to this blog. Mr. Atkinson focuses on Estate Planning, Corporate & Non-Profit Governance, Real Estate Tax Matters, and Election Matters. If you want to know more about financial planning, get in touch with us here.



Illinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over thirteen years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes for her clients in divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children. In addition to a gentler way to divorce, Erin focuses on helping drivers get their driver’s license back so they can achieve their employment and family goals.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law, and is a certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. She is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association. She is a past board member and presenter for the Mediation Council of Illinois.

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