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Financial considerations when blending families

After a divorce, people may eventually find new partners and decide to combine their Maryland households. There are a number of financial considerations they should take into account when they are creating these so-called "blended families".

First, couples should talk to one another about their finances and their views on saving, spending and the role of money in their lives. They should also consider what they want to model for their children regarding money. It is important to consider what might be fair if the two people are coming into the relationship with very different assets. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that different children may have different needs.

People who are in this type of a situation may want to consider creating a prenuptial agreement. This promotes honest conversation even if the couple eventually decides against making it into a legally binding document. Couples may need to decide what to do if they both own a home, whether they will have joint or individual accounts, and how financial responsibilities will be divided. Another consideration is how children's college educations and other major expenses will be handled. It is important as well to think about ex-spouses and what roles they will play.

This may also lead to a number of changes in agreements with former spouses. For example, spousal support usually ends when the recipient marries. The amount paid or received in child support may change as well. It may be necessary to go to court to ask for a modification in child support. There might even be shifts in child custody and visitation. At the time that a divorce occurs, parents may want to look ahead to a future in which they might both have new partners and discuss how this might be handled.

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