Money may not be the root of all evil, but it is a common factor in many divorces. However, it may not be what you think. Studies show that it is not the love of money or the lack of money that breaks up marriages. It is often a difference in attitudes about money.
If you and your spouse have worked hard to reach a comfortable income, buy a nice home in a good neighborhood, and provide a quality lifestyle for yourselves and your children, you may have expected to be happy together. Unfortunately, having enough money does not necessarily mean your marriage will avoid the most common money disputes.
Why the stress?
Family finances are the most common reason for conflict in a marriage. Interestingly, it is not the lack of money that creates this tension but rather conflicting views about how to handle the finances. You and your spouse may have had the same money arguments over and over, and if you were unable to get to the heart of the matter, you may have felt resentment and bitterness growing as time passed. Some of the common money conflicts include the following:
- You and your spouse have different financial priorities that you are unwilling to compromise, such as traveling, buying a home, planning for retirement or starting a family.
- One spouse persists in spending with credit cards while the other tries to keep the balances paid.
- One or both of you began overspending when you combined your incomes after getting married.
- Neither of you is willing to compromise when it comes to spending, especially if one wants to save and the other has different priorities.
- One or both of you are prone to making extravagant impulse purchases, such as vehicles, without consulting your spouse.
- You do not have an emergency fund, so unexpected expenses create stress when deciding how to handle them.
Miscommunication about money often leads to financial infidelity. This is when one spouse keeps money secrets from the other, such as secret bank accounts, credit cards or income. These can become critical issues when you begin the process of divorce. It will be important to disclose your financial secrets, and you may have to work to find the secrets your spouse is keeping. Having a California attorney on your side can improve the chances of getting a fair share of marital property and locating any hidden assets.