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Are Financial Arguments the Biggest Predictor of Divorce?

financial arguments and divorce, Illinois divorce lawyerOne of the biggest issues married couples have that can put a strain on a relationship is finances. Many studies, including one from the Kansas State University, reveal that if couples consistently fight about money, this could be a strong indicator that divorce may be in their future.

In the Kansas study, researchers used data collected from the National Survey of Families and Households. The team analyzed data from 4,500 couples who participated in the survey’s “Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce” report, which was published in the journal, Family Relations.

The study found that it did not matter what the income level of a couple were–the results of the arguments were the same. When it comes to financial issues, the arguments between couples tend to be more intense, angrier, and last longer than when arguments are about other important issues.

It also appears that the recovery time for couples after a fight about money takes longer, as well. When these money arguments begin at the start of a couple’s marriage, data from the survey shows that the rate of marriage success is poor.

There are steps that newlyweds can take in order to avoid these financial pitfalls that could wreak havoc on their marriage. Some of these steps include:


  • Couples should share with each other what their financial experiences were growing up and how finances affected family life. There could be financial emotional triggers for one partner that the other partner is totally unaware of, and these triggers could cause spending behaviors that lead to arguments.

  • There should be no financial secrets between couples when they are planning on marrying. Hiding things such as high credit card debt, poor credit scores, tax liability, and bankruptcy can cause a lot of turmoil when it comes time for a married couple to apply for a mortgage or other loans. It can also cause trust issues to creep into other aspects of a couple’s relationship, with a spouse wondering what else the other spouse has not been honest about.

  • It is essential for couples to discuss finances – not avoid it. Making future financial plans, such as savings, retirement, property ownership, as well as creating and sticking to a monthly budget, are all key to a couple working together to building the future.


If you are considering a divorce, our experienced Skokie, Illinois divorce attorney will be able to respond to your questions and concerns. Contact the Law Offices of Van A. Schwab today for more information.

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