Powell Radomsky, PLLC

Money and divorce

Many experts say the primary cause for conflict in a marriage is money. When two people can't come together over how to handle shared marital finances, the strain is often too much on the relationship. Couples and other sources frequently reference finances as a cause of divorce.

However, couples here in Virginia can take steps to prepare themselves for any issues that might arise. Just knowing some of the common financial causes of stress on a marriage can be helpful. If you are wondering about the financial status of your own relationship, know that there are two main categories of money problems in a relationship.

Spending habits

One of the biggest money issues experts point to relates to spending within a marriage. Some couples put a great deal of money towards their wedding, make impulsive and costly purchases or incur credit card debt without considering how it might affect their relationship. Even when the two people decide to spend this way together, down the road it can cause a great deal of stress, which can devastate a marriage.

Some couples simply can't agree on how to spend their combined income. They might have a budget, but they frequently spend above their limits. When they combine bank accounts, they may get upset if their partner spends an amount of money of which they did not approve. Furthermore, life is full of unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or home maintenance costs. If couples can't reach an agreement in those circumstances, they may end up in divorce court.

Differing beliefs about money

The other category of problems around money that couples often experience has to do with two people having different opinions on how to manage their finances. If one partner tends to save and the other tends to spend, those conflicting attitudes can cause serious friction. Similarly, if two people in a relationship have completely different goals and priorities for their money, such as buying a car versus going on vacation, it can also lead to issues. Many people have difficulty finding compromises when it is time to spend.

One thing that happens often to women, but can also happen to men, is when one person feels as though he or she has no control over the couple's finances. Sometimes, women's family contributions are valued more than their financial ones. In extreme situations of any financial problems, some people will commit "financial infidelity," meaning they may not be informing their partner about their full financial picture, in regards to both debt and spending.

Being proactive to prevent problems

Many experts recommend taking steps to stop money issues in a marriage before they happen. One of the ways to do that is by getting financial counseling before getting married. Unfortunately, even couples with the best of intentions can't always work things out. If you are considering getting a divorce due to financial issues in your marriage, know that you aren't the only person who has made this choice. Finances can be a source of strain in any relationship and sometimes it is better for two people to part ways.

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Powell Radomsky, PLLC

Powell Radomsky, PLLC
11350 Random Hills Road, Suite 420
Fairfax, VA 22030

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