“Money issues can create serious conflict in a relationship,” says Patrick Hanzel, a certified financial planner and advanced planning specialist at Policygenius. “That conflict can become compounded if one party wasn’t upfront about their financial health.”
The survey also found that the less you know about your partner's finances, the worse you think they are. Only 42 per cent of people who say their partner is financially irresponsible know their debts, while 66 per cent of people who claim to have finance-savvy partners.
"Before you get serious and before you start to share any sort of financial products make sure you have a conversation about money: who owns what, who owes what, what taxes are outstanding and what you hope to achieve with your finances," Melissa Browne, CEO of accounting firm A&TA author of Unf*ck your Finances, previously told Women's Health. "This means there will be fewer surprises down the track and if there are any financial skeletons you can deal with them early on."
The findings also showed that 46 per cent of respondents pool income with their partner and 30 percent treat their partner’s debt as joint debt.
"In my role as a money expert I meet many men and women who are struggling with an Sexually Transmitted Debt they received from a once loving partner," Browne adds. "Everything from tax debts not declared, debts they didn’t realise they were liable for when they agreed to directorships, mobile phone bills, SMSF debts, rent not paid, gambling addictions and so much more."
"Before you take the giant step of joining funds, moving in together, applying for loans or signing documents, make sure you seek professional advice. It’s so important to understand the worst-case scenario and to be made aware of the financial implications of what you’re signing."