Money Arguments: Ways Avoid a Financial Wedge In a Marriage

Money and finances can be a contentious topic when not handled with care. How one spends, saves, and invests money can be a very personal decision. Additionally, it can become increasingly complex when money is drawn from a joint account, but a couple has completely different ideas about how finances should be dispersed.

Money Arguments Are Top Predictor of Divorce

In a recent study by Kansas State University, it was found that one of the top predictors of divorce is how often the couple argues about money. For both men and women interviewed, arguments about money predominated as the leading cause of stress and strain in the marriage, more so than other important issues like children, in-laws and sex. The results of the published study took into consideration the wealth, income, and debt of the couples interviewed and found that regardless of the couple’s net worth, if money was a consistent subject of arguments, the couple was more likely to divorce.

Reasoning behind the Study

Several reasons why money arguments were the most contentious for couples were because the arguments generally lasted longer, were more intense, and the couples were more likely to be harsher than for arguments involving other subjects.

Solutions to Temper Money Arguments in a Marriage

With money arguments being a significant indicator of marital satisfaction, many couples look for solutions before marriage to ensure that money arguments do not put the final nail in the relationship. Therefore, before you get married, or if you are already married, it is important to decide how the finances will be taken care of and that there is open communication between you and your significant other.

Several suggestions to temper financial issues that may arise between the couple include the following:

Prenuptial (or Postnuptial) Agreements

Outline the financial duties in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Although there may be financial bumps in the road that cannot be predicted, there are certain issues that can be resolved head-on by determining what will be in separate accounts, what will be in the joint account, and who will control what and when.

For example, it may make more sense for each individual to maintain his or her own separate account and add a percentage of his or her wealth to the joint account for shared expenses. This may be necessary if both parties enter the marriage with their own significant wealth. Or, this may be necessary if one party uses his or her own finances for business purposes and wants to keep his or her partner out of danger for any liabilities or debts that might come up.

Outline the Spending, Saving, Investing Habits of Each Partner

Outline the spending, saving, and investing habits of each partner. One partner may be a saver while another is the type who prefers to jump at new investment opportunities. By communicating and determining how each partner spends and saves, restrictions may be set to keep both partners happy.

For example, significant issues can occur when one partner is a saver to a fault and the other party is a spender without limits. However, if one partner is permitted to save a percentage of his or her income, while the other partner is permitted to spend a percentage of his or her income, there will be no surprises (and less arguments) when the bank statements come in.

Consistently Contribute to an Emergency Savings Fund

Outline how much money needs to be allocated each month to an emergency savings fund. Regardless of your spending and saving habits, it is also important to have an emergency fund for unforeseen expenditures such as emergency care, car or house repairs, or a lost job.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in DuPage County

Financial problems can act as a wedge in a marriage and can push a couple apart. Although open communication and outlining spending and saving habits are useful, not every couple can overcome such issues. If you have reached your marital limit, an experienced family law attorney at Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C. can guide you through the legal procedure of separating your assets and finances from your spouse and help ensure that your assets are protected for your post-divorce lifestyle. Contact our DuPage County family law attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation.