Should Premarital Counseling

This is one that I was excited to discuss because when people think of premarital counseling, usually it focuses on the emotional aspect, compatibility but not necessarily in-depth finances. I recall last year that a bride-to-be came to me at a bridal show and stated that she had gone through premarital counseling, yet the one area she did not feel comfortable about was finances. It was not something that was really discussed.

In my opinion, if you are going to attend premarital counseling, I believe it is the responsibility of the brides and grooms to make sure that finances is a part of that premarital counseling session(s). Let’s face it we all know that money is one of the top reasons for divorce. That alone says we need to talk about money more, the good and the bad.

Regardless of our economy, when premarital counseling is provided I believe various aspects of money should be discussed including bankruptcy. Not saying it is impossible to find someone that has never been married before, but it is probably rare that you would end up at the altar with someone that has not had a credit card, student loan or other financial obligations. I am not saying that the person has had a bankruptcy but that is a possibility. Therefore, bankruptcy should be a part of the premarital counseling financial discussion.

When brides and grooms are standing at the altar saying “I Do”, many have taken it for granted that they probably discussed their finances. I would venture to say that they have not. Brides and Grooms need to know how to handle financial issues to include if that mate has had a bankruptcy, how long ago it was and if they have the discharge papers. Understand the bride or groom experienced that financial issue prior to marrying you; however, you need to be aware of what creditors were discharged just in case all of a sudden you start receiving collection letters in the mail.

Let’s be honest, bankruptcy is a hard pill to swallow. However, what happened prior to your union you cannot hold against the person. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. This is an opportunity for brides and grooms to begin anew as husband and wife with a new financial foundation. It is imperative that they discuss what caused the bankruptcy in order to prevent that happening in the future.

If the bride or groom has filed bankruptcy and no longer has their discharge paperwork, they can contact the Bankruptcy Court and ask to get a copy. There will be a minimal copy charge involved; but believe me it will save you in the long run. Both of you will know what creditors were discharged and what your rights are.