Money is like the little devil sitting upon the shoulders of each spouse in a marriage. It’s always there, causing problems. While other issues top money as the cause of divorce — such as infidelity, lack of communication, abuse, lack of intimacy, lack of equality and more — there is the constant force of money-related reasons people get divorced. Is this happening to your marriage? Let’s take a look at some reasons.
Are You Alone? Some Statistics
MagnifyMoney recently conducted a survey, and found some pretty telling statistics, including the following:
- 21% (1 in 5) of divorced couples reported money as the primary cause. Coincidentally, the more income involved, the higher that rate goes (up to 33%).
- Money also causes more stress in younger couples, with 24% of 25-44 year-olds citing money as the cause, while only 18% of those over 65 say so.
- Nearly 60% said they went into debt BECAUSE of the divorce! (Should have gone the Mediation route, right?)
- The leading factors in money-related divorces were overspending, debt and bad credit, and bad investments.
Read more: Costs of Divorce
Money-related Reasons for Divorce
So, what are the money-related reasons people start down the path to divorce?
- Fights. Money is the top cause of arguments and fighting in a marriage. A couple will make money-related decision just about every single day. Conflicts naturally arise, followed at times by a heated discussion or fight. Money, or income and expenses, tend to by cyclical — monthly, bi-weekly. That means fights can take on a similar pattern as well, and that starts to color the relationship.
- Splitting the Check. Ambiguity, even jealousy, over what money is yours, mine, ours. Not having a clear understanding of these boundaries leads to real problems.
- Different Visions. Spend. Save. Invest. Enjoy. When it comes to the financial future, a divide in expectations, priorities and attitudes towards money can become troublesome.
- It’s Personal. Fights over money can feel like personal attacks. What might be seen as a matter-of-fact discussion about the bank accounts can end up with hurt feelings.
- Debt and Credit. Growing debt can weigh on anybody. But in a marriage, it can breed deeper stress and even blame. If one spouse sees the other as the source of debt, that is a seed of divorce ready to grow. Sinking credit scores also cause tension.
- Infidelity. Infidelity? What? We’re talking financial infidelity. One spouse catches the other out spending money, creating debt on the sly.
- Surprises. When unexpected major expenses — like household damage repairs, illness, or care of extended family — pop up, it can lay down unexpected stress on the marriage as well.
Don’t Let Divorce Cause More Financial Debt
As if finances don’t cause enough stress in a marriage, a divorce can be costly and create even more debt. With the average cost of a divorce rising, you have an alternative — affordable Divorce Mediation. If you’re heading down this path with your spouse, give us a call or download our Divorce Mediation Preparation Checklist, and we’ll reach out to you.