A marriage brings with it a whole lot of responsibilities. But are you aware of what rights you enjoy? Read about them here.
Marriage brings with it a whole lot of responsibilities – some that you’ve been prepped for your whole life and some that appear out of the blue. However, most women in their pursuit of fulfilling their marital responsibilities often ignore their financial rights and responsibilities. This is why it’s important that before getting married, women equip themselves with knowledge about their financial rights and skills. For most women, financial problems in their marriage arise because of two reasons: lack of financial awareness and financial incompatibility.
What Women Should Keep In Mind After Marriage:
Financial disagreements can often fracture the strongest of bonds. This is why it’s important to maintain transparency and honesty with regard to financial matters for both spouses right from the start. However, bearing in mind the fact that a lot of women give up on their careers post marriage, here are a couple of things that women need to keep in mind about their financial rights after marriage:
- As far as possible, women should continue working after marriage. Workplace policies today have become quite flexible – if you’re moving cities or countries, check with your employer if they will allow you to work from home. Finding a job in another city or country will take you at least a couple of months, if not less, and this will ensure that you don’t lose out on a steady flow of income.
- If you have a bank account of your own, continue with it even after marriage. This will help you stay in control of your finances. You can even consider opening a locker attached to this account for safekeeping of your streedhan/jewellery that you’ve received in your wedding.
- If you and your spouse decide to make any investment like buying a property or any such after marriage, opt for joint ownership of your investments and assets. You should also be in the know of all your spouse’s investments, whether it is property or tax-saving investments. Remember to not blindly sign any documents without checking your legal liability.
Additional Reading: Role Of Women In Shaping The Finances Of The Household
How To Find Out If Your Spouse Is Lying:
While maintaining some amount of privacy is important for the health of any relationship – here are examples of scenarios when you need to wake up and smell the coffee.
Is there a change of topic when you talk money?
Does your partner try to evade any conversation revolving around money? This could be because he doesn’t want to reveal his financial investments or transactions or even discuss them with you. He could’ve bought an asset or spent heavily on a material purchase without telling you.
Is his spending disproportionate to his income?
Are you wondering how your husband bought the latest iPhone or laptop even though he said his business is going through a slump? He could be hiding a hefty bonus or income from you. In fact, he may even have a secret stash.
Is there a sudden change in his behaviour?
Does your husband behave irritably, aggressively or become defensive about his financial transactions? This is a clear red flag. He could be doing something wrong or hiding something from you.
Does your husband want to handle finances on his own?
If you’re unaware of the outflow and inflow of cash into your husband’s account, it is possible that he’s spending an insane amount of money on stock trading and losses, or his family, or spending them in EMIs on assets that you’re unaware of.
Is there a variation in his spending pattern?
A sudden spike in personal purchases, piling bills or calls from creditors or loan sharks are signs that something is definitely amiss about his financial state. Keep an eye out for a sudden increase in the number of Credit Cards or loans that he’s taken out. This can hint at losses or a fall in income.
Additional Reading: How The Kakeibo Way Of Budgeting Can Help You Save More
The number of divorced women in India is currently pegged at 1.36 million. Due to the uncertain nature of marriage, stay alert right from the start. If there’s any indication of trouble, contact a financial planner or lawyer to know which documents to access and how much maintenance to seek.
How to prepare for divorce:
As soon as you sense trouble in paradise, get hold of all your financial documents, including salary statements, rent receipts, property documents, household item receipts, monthly spending proof, and proof of asset ownership. If you leave it for later, your spouse may make it difficult for you to access these.
Alimony as a lump sum:
Opt for a lump sum as alimony instead of a monthly payout because the former is non-taxable and rules out erosion of wealth due to inflation. If you opt for monthly payouts, it should be pegged to inflation and increase every year.
Get liquid assets:
Try to get as many liquid assets as possible as this will provide flexibility in rebooting your financial life after divorce. If you insist on securing a house, but have no money for daily expenses, you’ll be in trouble.
Get a planner, then a lawyer:
To get a fair amount of maintenance, get the help of a financial planner before a divorce lawyer. He/she will help you calculate the amount after factoring in inflation and future expenses so that you can continue to maintain your lifestyle after divorce.
Alimony & child maintenance are separate:
Claim alimony and child maintenance separately because the money you’ll need to run your household is different from that required to bring up your child. Factor in your child’s future goals like education and wedding.
Planning to get married soon? You may need help with all those unanticipated expenses after marriage. Click the link below to start exploring!