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DivorceFinancial Fights That Cause Divorce

March 16, 2010

When all is said and done, aside from child custody, the biggest issues in divorce are about money. Indeed, money is often the root cause of divorce.  If money concerns are not the reason for a divorce, they may be symptomatic of deeper marital problems.

According to the Street, the types of financial fights that lead to divorce can easily be classified.

1. Paycheck envy
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in three married women out-earns her husband. That amount expands to more than half if they earn $55,000 or more. This phenomenon, it is said, may put stress on a marriage as it challenges the “traditional” male role as the “breadwinner.”

2. Debts
Couples who argue about finances on a weekly basis have a greater probability of divorcing than those who do not. Large debts may be indicative of illiquidity and the absence of an economic safety net. The absence of security provides more reason to fight.

3. Different money styles.
We have all heard about the struggles between the tight wad and the spend thrift; one spouse cannot part with a dime and ages bills to maximize the float whereas the other cannot leave a store empty handed. This difference is style may cause conflict which could jeopardize the marriage. Of course, this is an extreme example- but it illustrates the point that individual, though part of a couple, will manage money differently

4. Lifestyle Expectations
Obviously, financial constraints will define where and how the couple will live. Will they own or rent a home? Will they live in Westchester, Manhattan or Queens? Will they live in a home they easily can afford or will they stretch for something slightly above their combined means? Will they drive a new car or an older used one? If the couple is not one the same page, resentment will arise, challenging the marriage.

5. Hidden Money.
Money hidden from a spouse may be symptomatic of lack of trust or infidelity.

The theory of divorce law is that marriage is an economic partnership. It the marriage functions as a true partnership both parties are actively engaged in making marital financial decisions. Conflict can be mitigated if the parties are both aware of their financial styles and expectations and are willing to accommodate those of the other.


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