Once you’re ready to proceed, you’ll need to decide what approach to take with respect to disclosure. There are two possibilities: disclose everything or disclose nothing. I believe both parties should be completely transparent about their finances and any other personal issues that will be part of your life. Either way, it’s important to understand what “disclosure” really means.
Keep this checklist as a guideline for what you’ll be asked to provide. The following are the most significant items that should be included in the schedules of your contract, including account numbers.
- All sources of income, including salary, and passive income
- All financial accounts, including checking and saving account balances and dividends
- All retirement plans and the identity of beneficiaries of 401k, 403b, profit-sharing, pension, IRAs, and annuities
- Real properties and any income and costs of maintenance and taxes, including the marital residence and second homes
- A pending patent or copyright, celebrity, or good will of a business
- Intellectual property and any other creative products
- Life insurance and any accrued values
- Expected inheritances
- Prospective gifts
- All debts at the time of marriage, including any outstanding debts to the IRS
- Any pending litigation matters
- Country club memberships
- Cars and whether title is free and clear
- Jewelry, antiques, collectibles, and anything else that may be of value typically that would be scheduled on an insurance policy
- Children’s names, dates of birth and whether there are outstanding financial obligations
As you can see, everything is on the table before marriage. I believe this is the best foundation possible for growing closer and more emotionally intimate. Supporting your emotional, financial and spiritual intimacy will enhance every aspect of your relationship together.