A study by Experian in 2017 found that more than half of couples said finances were a factor in their divorce, and an additional 20 percent said finances played a large part in their split. Couples in Illinois should talk about finances before they get married.

Engaged couples may want to consider a prenuptial agreement. While these are rare, with only 2 percent of couples getting one, they are on the rise among millennials. A prenup is not just about preparing for divorce; making such an agreement forces couples to talk extensively about their finances.

Whether or not the couple agrees to create a prenup, they should have an honest conversation about their finances. This should include talking about debt and credit scores. The couple should also agree ahead of time on their financial system. This may mean having a joint account, or they may decide to keep their accounts separate. Communication may be even more important if finances are kept separate. Finally, couples should talk about their financial plans and goals. This might include agreeing on what they want to save for, choosing a budgeting tool and sharing passwords so that either person can access the other’s accounts if necessary.

Unfortunately, many couples do not take these precautions, or they have other issues that lead to ending the marriage. Finances may become an issue again during the divorce. If they do not have a prenuptial agreement, they may need to decide how they will split property, and this may include debt. One person may also be required to pay alimony to the other. Even if there is a prenuptial agreement, if the couple has children, they may need to make a child support agreement since child support arrangements cannot be part of a prenup. The couple may negotiate their divorce agreement, or they may go to court.