It is not a mystery that conflicts over money create tremendous stress in a marriage, and that more than a third of couples who divorce claim financial strain is the main reason for the downfall of their relationships. You may be among this group who has decided to end their marriages rather than continue in distress.
The financial strain you and your spouse are experiencing may result from having too little money to meet your obligations or from a disparity in your core philosophies about how to make, spend and save money. You are not alone, and a recent study reveals that even those couples with significant wealth are not immune from the stress of financial troubles.
How do your finances affect your marriage?
Your credit scores may have been one clue that you and your spouse were vulnerable to marital conflict over money. Research shows that couples with lower credit scores are more likely to break up before they hit their fifth anniversary. However, you may be among the many struggling couples who have vastly different credit ratings, with one of you coming into the marriage with a high score and the other bringing a low score.
You and your spouse may choose to struggle through any difficult national trends to see if things get better when the economy turns around. On the other hand, even if your family has an annual income surpassing $1 million dollars, the strain may be too difficult for your marriage to last if you are dealing with any of the following factors:
- High income but higher spending
- No savings or plan for retirement
- Frustration over which of you will make the financial decisions in the marriage
- A high-income job that requires you or your spouse to travel or work long hours
- One spouse earning substantially more than the other
If your spouse earns the money and you do not work or you earn significantly less than your spouse, you may be especially concerned about how this will affect property division. In California, all assets you and your spouse acquire during your marriage are community property, and the courts will attempt to divide these assets as equally as possible. You may feel more confident going forward with the divorce if you have the support of an experienced attorney who can assist you in obtaining your fair share of marital property.