Money-Related Reasons People Get Divorced

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Infidelity. Infidelity? What? We’re talking financial infidelity. One spouse catches the other out spending money, creating debt on the sly.
  7. 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.