Every divorce is unique in some way, because it is happening to two unique individuals. Still, the reasons divorcing people give for the split can be put into several recognizable categories. One of the most common reasons for divorce is money.
Debt can put a terrible strain on a marriage, as the stress and resentment builds up and overwhelms other aspects of the relationship. On the other hand, many couples are able to handle periods of financial troubles and emerge on the other side stronger than ever.
According to Money Talks, here are seven common financial errors that might lead to divorce:
- Not setting ground rules about money. Having clear expectations about spending and saving can prevent arguments later.
- Not considering your spouse’s debt to be “our” debt. Legally, this is technically true, but in reality you will have to help pay debts your spouse brings into the marriage — and vice versa.
- Not comingling finances. Keeping separate accounts is okay, if both of your agree, but you should consider opening a joint account for combined expenses like the mortgage.
- Indeed, having a secret bank account could lead to mistrust and hurt feelings. Believe it or not, this is very common behavior. In a 2012 online survey, 56 percent of women admitted lying to their spouse about money.
- Putting one spouse in charge of all financial matters. While one person might manage paying the bills, both spouses should be involved and informed about long-term financial planning.
- Failing to plan long-term. Talking finances can be boring or stressful, but living from paycheck to paycheck can mean there will be no comfortable retirement later in life.
- Getting too emotional when talking money. Try to keep your cool, so that finances don’t turn into a long-running argument.
These tips can help prevent marital problems, but they cannot guarantee that you will never need a divorce lawyer.