Top 5 Money Issues in a Marriage
Written by Brenden Kennedy

Top 5 Money Issues in a Marriage

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Fighting over money damages many marriages. According to studies, over a third of people in relationships fight over money. Financial problems in a marriage are one of the leading causes of divorce.

If you’ve tried everything to fix your marriage but you’ve concluded that the relationship is beyond repair, you may feel like getting a divorce might be the only option. Accepting that your marriage is over can be difficult. Collaborative divorce is a private, out-of-court process that can provide a path to a peaceful divorce even if you and your spouse are not necessarily in agreement on financial and child-related issues coming into the process.

Here we explore the 5 money issues in marriages and what you can do to overcome them.

1. Splitting Finances

Couples who decide not to share a bank account usually decide how they are going to split the bills and then keep whatever is left in their individual accounts for personal spending. This plan can work but can also build resentment between spouses over individual purchases made. It divides your shared spending power and eliminates the financial value of your marriage. It also hinders your ability to make long term goals together, such as saving for retirement or buying a home. It can also lead to financial infidelity, where one partner is making financial moves without the other knowing it. Financial infidelity can damage the trust between spouses and result in divorce.

2. Different Style of Handling Money

There are many different types of spending habits. If one spouse is a “spender” and the other is a “saver,” this difference can eventually lead to friction. If you are a risk taker but your spouse is a risk avoider, you may find conversations about finances to be uncomfortable, which can also lead to martial conflict. Rather than shutting down the discussion entirely, try to understand where you spouse is coming from; you might even consider reversing roles on how you handle finances for a while. This can give each partner a better understanding of the other’s money style, and potentially find a good medium between the two.

3. One Partner Has Debt

When one spouse has more debt than the other, or if one partner is debt free and the other is not,  arguments can arise when about the topics of debts, spending, and income come up. In community property states like Arizona, debts and property acquired during a marriage are equitably divided in divorce proceedings, even if the lion’s share of debt is only in one spouse’s name; however, neither spouse is liable for their partner’s debts incurred before the marriage took place.

4. No Individual Accounts

In some marriages, couples choose to combine all finances into a joint checking or savings account. However, this arrangement may result in you feeling like you to have a discussion with your spouse every time you want to make even a minor purchase. Sharing a joint account to cover routine expenses is a great idea for the team but might not work out the best for individuals. One option could be to set up a shared account for the day-to-day expenses that you will share, but also maintain individual savings and investment accounts so each of you can make purchase or saving decisions without always having to feel like you must ask the other for permission.

5. At Odds Over Retirement Plans

One spouse might be ready to retire while the other might plan to continue working for years to come. Often, couples have different views on when to retire, and how they will spend retirement years. Spouses who are 10 years apart in age or more are typically the ones that have issues when it comes to deciding when to retire. It’s best to come up with a mutual plan on when each of you would like to retire. Have those retirement discussions years before you decide to stop working. Figure out what you want your retirement to look like, as a couple and individually. You may already be on track to meet those goals or you may have to make some major adjustments now to ensure a comfortable lifestyle later.

Sources:

  1. McWhinney, James. “Top 6 Marriage-Killing Money Issues.” Investopedia, Investopedia, 29 Sept. 2019, https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/09/marriage-killing-money-issues.asp.
  2. “Financial Issues in a Marriage: How to Overcome Them.” OppLoans, OppLoans.com, 18 Oct. 2017, https://www.opploans.com/blog/financial-issues-in-marriage/.
  3. Ambrose, Eileen. “7 Common Money Conflicts in Marriage and How to Solve Them.” www.kiplinger.com, Kiplingers Personal Finance, 9 Jan. 2018, https://www.kiplinger.com/article/saving/T065-C000-S002-common-money-conflicts-in-marriage-how-to-solve.html.

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Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. One of the legalfinancial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.

OUR PROFESSIONALS CAN HELP WITH THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS IN ARIZONA!

Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. One of the legalfinancial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.