The number three most common cause of divorce is money. Only incompatibility and infidelity are cited more often as the reason for marital break-up. Those are the findings of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. This phenomenon is backed up by a report in Divorce Magazine that four out of the 16 reasons couples divorce involve money.
This is why it's essential for couples to have open and honest discussions about money before they marry, even if they elect not to have a prenuptial agreement. It's important to determine how much of your money you're going to commingle and how much you'll keep separate. It's also good to know just what kind of assets and debt your partner is bringing into the marriage.
Differing views around saving, spending and investing can be serious sources of conflict in a marriage. That's why couples should make sure that their values align on these issues. Following are a few of the most common financial issues that have been found to be predictors that a marriage won't last.
Although mortgage debt has decreased within the past decade, student loan and credit card delinquencies are increasing. When a couple's income surpasses the amount that they owe, not just on loans but on everyday expenses, the stress of how they will pay their bills can damage the marriage.
A Spendthrift Spouse
Sometimes out-of-control household debt is caused or at least exacerbated by one spouse's spending habits. With virtually everything available online these days with a few clicks and plastic increasingly replacing cash and checks for many people, it's easier than ever to end up with thousands of dollars in credit card debt every month.
It's better to be familiar with your spouse's spending habits going into the marriage than find out once you've gotten a joint credit card or checking account that he or she has a problem living within a budget.
Low Credit Score
Debt and overspending can lower your credit score. Even if you had a sterling score before you married, it can be ruined by a spouse's financial decisions. A low credit score can make it difficult to get a mortgage and other types of loans as well as credit cards. It can also increase the interest rate you pay on these financial products.
The process of drafting a prenuptial agreement helps couples facilitate in-depth, honest discussions of their current financial situation and their goals for the future. Family law attorneys can make these discussions more productive and get a prenup that will help you protect your financial future.
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