You and your spouse probably had many plans for your future, and some of those plans may have included material success. You focused on your career, or you supported your spouse’s business endeavors. You did well, and perhaps your friends envy your financial success.
Unfortunately, you now understand that money does not buy happiness. While most studies show that financial conflict is among the top reasons for couples to divorce, a lack of money doesn’t always bring about these conflicts. More often, it is a mismatch of attitudes and values about earning, saving, spending and borrowing that breeds discontent and frustration between spouses.
What’s the real problem?
The most recently published study shows that about 35 percent of those couples surveyed put money issues at the top of the list of marital problems. However, further investigation shows that these problems do not always arise because a couple does not earn enough to make ends meet. In fact, you may be among those who make more money than you ever imagined making, perhaps well above the average for a family in Georgia.
Nevertheless, if you are not in harmony with your spouse’s way of thinking about money, you may find that your compatibility in other areas suffers, too. You may find your marriage is in trouble because any of the following are happening:
- Spending more than you earn
- Neglecting to save for retirement or emergencies
- Earning more than your spouse or having your spouse earn more than you, for example if one partner gives up a career to remain home with the children
- Working a job that involves long hours and little family time
- Traveling extensively for your career
Studies by the Federal Reserve Board show that one important factor seems to influence whether a couple stays together, and that is a wide discrepancy in credit scores. If one spouse has a credit rating much higher than the other does, there is a better chance that they will separate within five years of marriage. However, spouses who both enjoy high credit scores likely share similar philosophies about finances, reducing the stress and conflict over money in their marriages.
No matter the underlying reason for the stress in your marriage, if you have decided you no longer want to be married, you are probably concerned about how your financial future will look after a divorce. Obtaining a fair and equitable division of assets is the first step, and a skilled attorney can assist you in this area.