Shortly after everyone viewed the secret wedding photos of Swizz and Alicia marrying in Italy, we could barely get out our oohs and ahhhs before tax documents surfaced showing Dean owes $2.4 million in taxes. Accumulating since 2006-2008, the total is part of a larger seven-year debt due to 35 different tax liens from the IRS.
Keys certainly has money of her own -- as does Beatz, who, according to Forbes, made $8 million in 2008 alone -- but what is going on here? Should Alicia have dug a little deeper before walking down the aisle? Maybe money grows on trees in the Dean household, but with more than 30 tax liens, child support and tax debt in the millions, Keys might have benefited from taking a moment to think before walking down the aisle.
"Celebrity or not, when you are preparing to marry someone you should disclose any type of financial obligations that will impact the marriage," Dr. Taffy Wagner, owner of Money Talk Matters and author of 'Debt Dilemma,' told Black Voices. "Just because the person wasn't involved the financial decision at the time, doesn't mean they won't be affected by the financial consequences."
As Swizz is pictured on his honeymoon poppin' and literally showering his friends with bottles of champagne sans his new wife, what does this mean for the expectant mother Alicia?
"Because these are tax liens, Alicia has to be concerned what will happen to her husband. Look what happened to Wesley Snipes," Wagner warned. "The IRS doesn't discriminate based on celebrity. If you owe them money, you owe them money."
Stress will continue to ensue if the reports of the couple searching $14 million dollar homes are true.
"If they plan on buying a house together, both of their credit reports will be pulled," Wagner said. "With Swizz's credit being impaired, they would be required to pay higher interest on their home unless everything is put in her name, impacting the dynamic of the relationship. While this is not her debt or her obligation, it will affect what they can do in their household. His decisions in business, from other marriages and in fathering other children, all can put a strain on their marriage."
In order for men/women not to find themselves in a similar situation, Wagner urges couples to "look at your partner's credit report and know about your partner's student loans."
Wagner said that according to research, 20 percent of marriages fail due to financial problems in the first five years of the relationship. To avoid these problems, preparation for your financial future is key.
"We can be in love and not see some things," she said, "but ask yourself: Can you live with someone with financial issues? If you can, make sure the person has a game plan to get out of financial distress so it doesn't fall on your shoulders. If not how will you protect yourself? You prepare for a marriage during your engagement -- and not just the catering and the cake."
Follow writer Shirea L. Carroll on Twitter @InviteOnly