Nothing is harder on marriages than arguing over money. Numerous studies also indicate money problems as the leading cause for divorce. One study, by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University, attempts to quantify just how bad the problem is. His finding: Couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.
- Merging Money :: Should couples combine assets into one shared pool or do they instead keep separate accounts and split household expenses? It’s a complicated issue and requires lots of communication to make sure everyone is on the same page. Take your time, merging money does not have to happen overnight.
- Dealing With Debt :: Couples where one partner comes in with a massive debt burden can make them feel like they’re dragging the debt-free mate down. Debt should not be sued as a scorecard in relationships and should never be held over the head of a spouse. Solving debt issues as a team not only strengthens the relationship, but helps reduce the debt more quickly.
- Managing Spending :: In many relationships, one gets labeled the “saver” and the other gets labeled the “spender.” This isn’t always the case however and the real problem boils down to spouses not communicating about how and what they spend money on. A budget goes a long way toward fixing the issue and keeps both people honest.
- Investing Wisely :: Men are far likely to make risky investments while women worry about their financial safety. Couples should try and come together to clarify their mutual goals, lay out a long-term plan and work together to craft a path of getting there.
- Keeping Money Secrets :: If couples understood that lying about even insignificant things, like how many movies you downloaded on your iPad, would lead to a less authentic, open relationship with their spouse they likely would be more mindful of telling little white lies. Each partner must keep in mind that most relationships aren’t destroyed by one dramatic act, but a series of small, even inconsequential, acts that chip away at your foundation of love and trust.
- Emergency Planning :: Just like couples vary on the degree of risk they are willing to take, they also vary on the level of reserves they need to feel safe. They key here is to find the commonality; both spouses usually agree that some amount of savings is required, so work to find a number acceptable to you both.
The key to a loving and financially stable relationship is communication. Taking the time to talk about money concerns and financial goals can be a great investment for a couple’s joint financial future.
If you find yourself in a relationship where communication has broken down and you’re worried about your financial future, you need the help of an experienced South Carolina family law attorney to guide you through the thorny process.
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