With money issues being one of the leading causes of divorce, it’s always a good idea to have open communication and in “in sync” when it comes to money in your relationship. This article from Yahoo Finance by Pam Krueger expands on the various aspects of combining finances, financial decisions, communication, habits, personalities, parenting, & being vigilant during a divorce.

The following are some tips that help help make or break your relationship, summarized from the full article linked above:

Recognize How Personalities Differ When It Comes to $$

Personality isn’t the only root of relationship issues! Financial habits and behaviors are what causes the issues. If you have a supporting and savvy spouse, it is possible to change behavior and being more financially responsible.

You Need to Talk About It ($$)

Communicating effectively helps couples make better financial decisions. Those who do communicate well together are likely to expect to live a comfortable retirement, rate their household’s financial health as excellent or very good, discuss finances together monthly, and say money is not their greatest relationship challenge. Talking about it right from the start and not treating it as taboo will only help in the long run. Also, it’s important to cover everything, including income, debt, past experiences, and future goals.

Combining Finances = Generally the Best Option

Combining finances encourages spouses to be more accountable for how they spend. In a paper from the Journal of Consumer Psychology, people who spent from a joint account were less likely to make “hedonic,” or fun, purchases and instead choose more “utilitarian” options.

Each Partner Needs to Participate in Financial Decisions, Especially Women

If love is wishing good for the other, then an act of love is having each partner equally participate in household finances. Despite progress made over the past few decades, many households still have one person controlling the finances, often the man.

Nearly 80% of U.S. widows and widowers are women, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report. Widowhood can come as a major financial shock for those who are unprepared. The Stanford Center for Longevity found that in the first two years after losing a spouse, women experience a 22 percent drop in income.

Parenting Needs to Be a Team Effort

It costs more than $230,000 to raise a child until age 17, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Couples need to consider balancing childcare duties equally.

Be Financially Vigilant During a Divorce

Whether money is the cause of a divorce or not, it should be one of your priorities during one. Just as financial planning is vital for making a marriage work, it is equally important for getting through a divorce.

One way to protect yourself is to work with a financial advisor, perhaps one who specializes in helping clients through divorce, such as those who are a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA).

Doing these things can help put you in a stronger financial position for your next stage in life—and maybe even for your next relationship. The more we put into our own financial well-being, the better we can manage the financial well-being of a household.