Living happily ever after means being realistic about finances, and open and honest about all aspects of your life together. While marrying someone who has previously declared bankruptcy does not automatically affect your own credit rating, money management will affect your future together.

Discuss with your intended the reasons that led to a bankruptcy, and the lessons he or she learned about financial affairs. Whether it was a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy and what led to it can certainly have an effect on your life. Remember that a bankruptcy is reported on an individual’s credit report for a minimum of seven years. With a Chapter 13 court-mandated repayment plan, you might face an additional financial burden as a couple until the debt is repaid.

fiance's bankruptcy

Handling Financial Affairs

Credit scores and financial reports are individualized, and major credit reporting agencies do not take into account the rating of a partner when assigning a score. But, as a married couple, you will likely not be able to keep all financial transactions separate, and a previous bankruptcy of either partner must be disclosed when buying a home or completing a credit application for an automobile.

The best way to ensure that you are on the right track together is to have a financial “meeting of the minds” prior to marriage. Try to understand the reasons for the previous bankruptcy, and resolve that those “problems” are in the past. Reckless spending, an inability to live within a set budget, medical emergency or job loss — there are numerous reasons for filing bankruptcy. But you don’t want to face a repeat. Confront any issues full on. Then move forward. Any couple beginning a life together should view financial stability as one of the pillars of a strong relationship. Decide in advance how you will pay bills and handle expenses; set a firm budget and strive to maintain financial independence. There are plenty of challenges in marriage; try not to let money drive you apart. However you handle your finances, make sure you both agree.

If you need further advice about a worrisome financial situation, or a previous or pending bankruptcy, seek professional money management advice, individual or couples counseling, or schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. As leading bankruptcy attorneys in the Atlanta area, we at Clark & Washington can help you relieve a financial burden that threatens your relationship and your life. Call us at (770) 203-2747 or schedule an appointment online.