Bypassing a potential divorce could be directly related to how you and your spouse choose to tackle your finances. Statistics show that typically January can be a brutal month for divorces, with rates tripling during the first month of the year, once the holiday rush has settled and real life resumes. In many cases, divorces derive from financial issues between spouses, and according to Kansas State University researcher Sonya Britt, the a red-flag sign of a divorce on the way is if couples find themselves arguing about money.
According to a study co-authored by Britt, “Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce,” marriages where couples that argue about money are far more prone to dissolve. The study even contends that this is true no matter what a couple’s combined income, debts, or net worth are. When couples get married and their normally separated financial habits are merged, and in order to avoid falling into the growing group of over 50 percent of marriages that end in divorce, keen communication between couples regarding finances is critical in a successful relationship.
Respecting one another, formulating a shared budget, planning for the long term, and transparency are all key in avoiding money-fueled arguments in a marriage. Spending habits are often shaped in one’s upbringing and throughout their childhood. Respecting each other’s individual perspectives and financial experiences is necessary. Similarly, sitting down with your significant other and hashing out a budget each month that tailors to both of your respective trends and habits. So long as you are writing a budget out and keeping to it at least relatively closely, this practice will greatly aid in avoiding arguments about each other’s spending. Furthermore, planning for the long term is of equal importance. Even planning such things as 3, 5, and 10 year career and financial goals is a healthy practice. Working closely with a financial planner is always a sound idea to consider when planning for your child’s education, your retirement, and making careful investments. Securing your financial future will go a long way in strengthening your marriage in the here and now. Most importantly however, is transparency with your partner. Sitting down and debriefing as often as once a month is crucial to your financial success. Talking about unanticipated spending, big ticket purchases, and goals can help immensely as well as simply touching base on who is monitoring the investments and savings from month to month.
Proper communication in a marriage is key, but financial transparency and planning for the future are also necessary in avoiding arguments that could be fatal to a relationship.