Getting Together Later in Life

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Getting together with a new partner later in life can have its difficulties, especially when there are children from a previous relationship involved. While there are many practical issues to resolve, ranging from deciding whose furniture to keep to agreeing on parenting philosophies, often the most complex issues are to do with money.

People coming together in a second relationship have sometimes lived on their own for a number of years and are used to managing their own money. Suddenly having to consider another person is not easy. Each partner may have different views and habits with regard to managing money. Often, there will be fears around sharing money that come from bad experiences with a former partner, for example as result of addictions to gambling and alcohol, or excessive spending. There may also be different views about how much to spend on children. Lavish spending by one partner on his or her children can cause friction within the blended family.

It is common for two people coming together later in life to have very different financial circumstances in terms of income and the amount of wealth they have. This can be a huge barrier to managing money jointly and can cause tension or anxiety if one partner feels unable to afford the lifestyle of the other.

Decisions need to be made on how best to pay for the household running costs, especially where there are children from previous relationships living in the home. Given the high rate of relationship failure, it is especially important for each partner to obtain independent legal advice on how to protect the wealth they bring into a relationship.

Good communication, a strong commitment to the relationship and expert legal and financial advice are required to identify the issues and find robust, equitable and practical solutions.

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