LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A British family law firm is urging couples to take a “compatibility quiz” before getting married or deciding to live together.
Bross Bennett’s compatibility test focuses on key questions about finances, family ties, children and aspirations that most couples struggle with and might have to answer anyway if their marriage breaks down and they end up divorcing.
Partner Ruth Bross compared taking the quiz to the kind of considerations and research an employer might make before hiring someone.
“No one who is truly committed to a relationship will ever mind making the full and frank disclosure that is asked of them; if they do, you might like to ask yourself why,” she said in an emailed statement containing the quiz.
The quiz asks about assets and how each party would like to share them, what kind of relationships they have with their extended family and friends, whether they want children, their religious views, spending habits and career plans:
A copy of the quiz is below:
Do you know the extent of each other’s assets? How do you both view the sharing of these assets? Do you have the same attitude to saving?
Will one of you want to put into a pension what the other wants to put into a new car?
Will you pool your resources or do you want to keep everything separate? Joint accounts or separate? Will you contribute in proportion to your incomes, or equally?
Are you going to have to pay off your partner’s debts perhaps from what you thought was going to be the deposit on your house?
What sort of relationship do you have with your extended family? Are they good at staying in touch? Are they local? Affectionate? Over-involved? Have you had any major fallings out?
Do you want children? How many? How do you want to raise your children? What sort of values do you want to pass on? Do you have opposing views about the benefits of state versus private education — and should you be thinking now about buying in a catchment area for a good state school?
What are your religious views — do you agree on what religion you will bring up the children in? Church/mosque/synagogue? Once a week or once a year? Or no religion at all.
Leisure and fun
Do you like doing the same things in your spare time? Do you share common interests? Is your idea of a holiday lying flat on the beach for two weeks and your partner’s rock-climbing?
What sort of lifestyle are you aiming for? Where do you want to live? Do either of you have a dream of downsizing at some point and living away from the city?
Do you have an expensive shoe or gadget habit? Does one of you think of a particular purchase as an essential that the other regards as a “discretionary spend”? Do you have any other secret addictions: handbags, chocolate, football? Do you gamble, online or otherwise?
Are your respective career paths compatible, is either of you going to have to make compromises? Are you prepared to? Will you want to give up work when you have children? What does your partner think about this and can you manage financially? What about part-time working?
Roles - traditional or modern?
Will you expect to live along traditional lines: woman as homemaker and man as breadwinner? Who will organize the finances? Will household responsibilities be shared equally? Who will assume responsibility for paying bills?
Are there any old flames for whom you still hold a candle?
Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Steve Addison