Financial Issues and Blended Families

Reviewed Nov 26, 2019

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Summary

Think about:

  • Short-term goals
  • Long-term goals
  • Caring for kids

There are many issues to think about when bringing together a new family unit. This blended family can involve a new spouse, partner, grandparent, stepchild, friend of the family, and more. There are clear emotional and legal hurdles, and even physical space. But one of the biggest issues are finances. This shouldn’t be a surprise since money matters are a leading trigger for conflict in marriages and partnerships. If you plan on the issues ahead of time, you can work through them as a family.

Short-term goals

When starting a new marriage, committed partnership, or adding in more family members, look at your financial picture.

Think about:

  • What are your current expenses and how are they met?
  • What debts or loans do you each carry?
  • What extra costs will come up? Think about higher rent, using more utilities, health care co-pays, extra food, and more.
  • Will the new partner, spouse, or family member help, and if so, will you share a joint banking account?
  • What do you need to make sure your lifestyle stays comfortable?

Involve your partner in these talks. It’s key that they know what it takes to keep the household running. You might find that opening a joint household account is a good way to handle blended family finances. You can keep separate accounts as well.

Long-term goals

Getting your daily financial picture settled is a big step. But there are still long-term goals to keep in mind. It is vital to talk with your partner or spouse to be sure you are on the same page. Think about:

  • What are our long-term goals as far as household, family, and retirement?
  • Are we going to want to make a major joint purchase like a house or car?
  • Will we want to have more kids?
  • What will we need to secure a comfortable retirement as a couple?

These might sound like lofty goals, but each couple or family has to start somewhere. With good planning, you can have your daily needs met while securing your future too. You should also think about estate planning and review your living will, benefit designations, and more.

Caring for kids

Kids can make money issues a bit trickier. This is particularly true if there are exes to deal with. As hard as it might be, you and your partner—as well as ex’s—should discuss the well-being of the child(ren). Think about:

  • Current schooling and fees (books, uniforms, school supplies)
  • Costs of added food and clothing
  • Allowance and/or any “fun” money to be spent by the child
  • Savings for college, first car, and so on

If there are stepsiblings or half siblings in the picture, try to make the finances as fair as you can. This won’t always work well based on what you and the other parent have as a goal for your child. For example, one kid might be in private school already, while the other goes to a public school.

Keep in mind that doing taxes the year following a divorce can be complicated. Only one parent can claim the child, and that should be figured out ahead of time. On the flipside, if you are taking in a family member as a dependent, you might be able to claim them on your taxes if you pay for most of their expenses. There might be other tax deductions and credits you can take as a result of your blended family.

Talking finances, taxes, and school supply shopping are likely not your idea of a romantic evening with your new partner. But setting up goals and financial ground rules is a great way to build a solid base for your future. With each adult member helping, your whole family will gain. It will lead to less clashes and money woes.

By Andrea Rizzo, MFA
Source: 3 Financial Challenges of Blended Families: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/08/26/3-financial-challenges-of-blended-families; Blended Family Finances: www.kiplinger.com/article/saving/T023-C000-S002-blended-family-finances.html
Reviewed by Marissa Eggert, LMFT, EAP Workplace Consult, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Think about:

  • Short-term goals
  • Long-term goals
  • Caring for kids

There are many issues to think about when bringing together a new family unit. This blended family can involve a new spouse, partner, grandparent, stepchild, friend of the family, and more. There are clear emotional and legal hurdles, and even physical space. But one of the biggest issues are finances. This shouldn’t be a surprise since money matters are a leading trigger for conflict in marriages and partnerships. If you plan on the issues ahead of time, you can work through them as a family.

Short-term goals

When starting a new marriage, committed partnership, or adding in more family members, look at your financial picture.

Think about:

  • What are your current expenses and how are they met?
  • What debts or loans do you each carry?
  • What extra costs will come up? Think about higher rent, using more utilities, health care co-pays, extra food, and more.
  • Will the new partner, spouse, or family member help, and if so, will you share a joint banking account?
  • What do you need to make sure your lifestyle stays comfortable?

Involve your partner in these talks. It’s key that they know what it takes to keep the household running. You might find that opening a joint household account is a good way to handle blended family finances. You can keep separate accounts as well.

Long-term goals

Getting your daily financial picture settled is a big step. But there are still long-term goals to keep in mind. It is vital to talk with your partner or spouse to be sure you are on the same page. Think about:

  • What are our long-term goals as far as household, family, and retirement?
  • Are we going to want to make a major joint purchase like a house or car?
  • Will we want to have more kids?
  • What will we need to secure a comfortable retirement as a couple?

These might sound like lofty goals, but each couple or family has to start somewhere. With good planning, you can have your daily needs met while securing your future too. You should also think about estate planning and review your living will, benefit designations, and more.

Caring for kids

Kids can make money issues a bit trickier. This is particularly true if there are exes to deal with. As hard as it might be, you and your partner—as well as ex’s—should discuss the well-being of the child(ren). Think about:

  • Current schooling and fees (books, uniforms, school supplies)
  • Costs of added food and clothing
  • Allowance and/or any “fun” money to be spent by the child
  • Savings for college, first car, and so on

If there are stepsiblings or half siblings in the picture, try to make the finances as fair as you can. This won’t always work well based on what you and the other parent have as a goal for your child. For example, one kid might be in private school already, while the other goes to a public school.

Keep in mind that doing taxes the year following a divorce can be complicated. Only one parent can claim the child, and that should be figured out ahead of time. On the flipside, if you are taking in a family member as a dependent, you might be able to claim them on your taxes if you pay for most of their expenses. There might be other tax deductions and credits you can take as a result of your blended family.

Talking finances, taxes, and school supply shopping are likely not your idea of a romantic evening with your new partner. But setting up goals and financial ground rules is a great way to build a solid base for your future. With each adult member helping, your whole family will gain. It will lead to less clashes and money woes.

By Andrea Rizzo, MFA
Source: 3 Financial Challenges of Blended Families: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/08/26/3-financial-challenges-of-blended-families; Blended Family Finances: www.kiplinger.com/article/saving/T023-C000-S002-blended-family-finances.html
Reviewed by Marissa Eggert, LMFT, EAP Workplace Consult, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Think about:

  • Short-term goals
  • Long-term goals
  • Caring for kids

There are many issues to think about when bringing together a new family unit. This blended family can involve a new spouse, partner, grandparent, stepchild, friend of the family, and more. There are clear emotional and legal hurdles, and even physical space. But one of the biggest issues are finances. This shouldn’t be a surprise since money matters are a leading trigger for conflict in marriages and partnerships. If you plan on the issues ahead of time, you can work through them as a family.

Short-term goals

When starting a new marriage, committed partnership, or adding in more family members, look at your financial picture.

Think about:

  • What are your current expenses and how are they met?
  • What debts or loans do you each carry?
  • What extra costs will come up? Think about higher rent, using more utilities, health care co-pays, extra food, and more.
  • Will the new partner, spouse, or family member help, and if so, will you share a joint banking account?
  • What do you need to make sure your lifestyle stays comfortable?

Involve your partner in these talks. It’s key that they know what it takes to keep the household running. You might find that opening a joint household account is a good way to handle blended family finances. You can keep separate accounts as well.

Long-term goals

Getting your daily financial picture settled is a big step. But there are still long-term goals to keep in mind. It is vital to talk with your partner or spouse to be sure you are on the same page. Think about:

  • What are our long-term goals as far as household, family, and retirement?
  • Are we going to want to make a major joint purchase like a house or car?
  • Will we want to have more kids?
  • What will we need to secure a comfortable retirement as a couple?

These might sound like lofty goals, but each couple or family has to start somewhere. With good planning, you can have your daily needs met while securing your future too. You should also think about estate planning and review your living will, benefit designations, and more.

Caring for kids

Kids can make money issues a bit trickier. This is particularly true if there are exes to deal with. As hard as it might be, you and your partner—as well as ex’s—should discuss the well-being of the child(ren). Think about:

  • Current schooling and fees (books, uniforms, school supplies)
  • Costs of added food and clothing
  • Allowance and/or any “fun” money to be spent by the child
  • Savings for college, first car, and so on

If there are stepsiblings or half siblings in the picture, try to make the finances as fair as you can. This won’t always work well based on what you and the other parent have as a goal for your child. For example, one kid might be in private school already, while the other goes to a public school.

Keep in mind that doing taxes the year following a divorce can be complicated. Only one parent can claim the child, and that should be figured out ahead of time. On the flipside, if you are taking in a family member as a dependent, you might be able to claim them on your taxes if you pay for most of their expenses. There might be other tax deductions and credits you can take as a result of your blended family.

Talking finances, taxes, and school supply shopping are likely not your idea of a romantic evening with your new partner. But setting up goals and financial ground rules is a great way to build a solid base for your future. With each adult member helping, your whole family will gain. It will lead to less clashes and money woes.

By Andrea Rizzo, MFA
Source: 3 Financial Challenges of Blended Families: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/08/26/3-financial-challenges-of-blended-families; Blended Family Finances: www.kiplinger.com/article/saving/T023-C000-S002-blended-family-finances.html
Reviewed by Marissa Eggert, LMFT, EAP Workplace Consult, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2019 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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