Some studies show that nearly half of all first marriages will end in divorce, and subsequent marriages have an higher likelihood of failure. One of the main causes of divorce is money problems, but California couples can discuss their financial situation and attitudes toward money ahead of time. This might help reduce the chance of conflict later.

Couples should discuss the assets and debts they are bringing into the marriage. This should include inheritances, student loan debt and credit card debt. They should also discuss their credit ratings and whether they have ever filed for bankruptcy. They might want to create a prenuptial agreement.

Other considerations are what a budgeting and savings plan will look like, how bills and taxes will be managed and whether or not the couple wants children. They might also discuss estate planning, retirement savings and their vision for retirement. There are also a number of pitfalls that couples should avoid. For example, keeping secrets or refusing to talk about finances can be destructive. If one person tends to control the finances, one resents the other’s decision, or the couple together lacks a long-term financial plan, then there might be problems ahead.

If a divorce does become inevitable, property division is one issue that will need to be worked through. This can be particularly complex in a high-asset divorce that might involve multiple types of investments, real estate in other states and even one or more businesses. Furthermore, since California is a community property state, whatever is deemed to be marital property must be split equally unless there is an existing prenuptial agreement or the couple has otherwise been able to come to an accord with the assistance of their respective attorneys.