Effects of Financial Conflict On Marriage May Be Mitigated Indicates Alston and Baker Divorce Attorney
Zephyrhills, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 21, 2013 – A new study shows that arguments over money are the number one predictor of divorce.
That may seem obvious, but researchers said theirs may be the first scientific study demonstrating that nothing indicates risk of divorce better than conflict over finances. Arguments about children, sex, or other issues pale in comparison, and the results hold true even for wealthy couples.
“Finances are often at the top of the list of reasons why a couple might feel their marriage isn’t working,” commented Zephyrhills divorce attorney Marcie Baker. “It’s useful when scientific research quantifies such things, but the results certainly do not come as a surprise.”
Jeffrey Dew is an assistant professor at Utah State University’s Department of Family, Consumer, and Human Development. He was unable to find any scientific study confirming the widespread belief that money kills more marriages than anything else. In order to find out for himself, he teamed up with colleagues in Kansas and Texas to analyze data collected on over 4,500 couples as part of the National Survey of Families and Households.
Dew’s study, “Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce,” was recently published in the journal Family Relations. He gave three reasons why he believes disagreements about money lead to divorce. First, they indicate significant financial trouble, which wears on any relationship. Second, the couple may have conflicting ideas about the best use of money. Some see it as a means to gain status, Dew said, while others value it for peace of mind and security. The third reason is that money conflicts may be a proxy for deeper issues, like trust or power struggles.
Dew suggested that couples considering marriage may want to seek financial counseling before tying the knot. And married couples should take time regularly to discuss their household budget and come to an agreement on how much each can spend without consulting the other.
“Prenuptial agreements are another option that can go a long way to prevent conflict over money,” Baker added. “They take away some of the uncertainty about the future, easing tensions and even saving marriages. For married couples, a postnuptial agreement offers many of the same benefits.”