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Does money actually cause divorce?

Some will tell you that money is a top reason for divorce, as if this blanket statement really covers all of the complexities involved. Is this true, or is it a myth?

The reality is somewhere in the middle. Money can contribute, and it's often cited as part of the reason that people want to break up. However, financial experts point out that there are usually a number of money-related issues that actually cause tension and lead to the split. These include:

  • Poor communication regarding money. One spouse may spend more than the family can afford, for instance, not knowing that he or she is creating financial trouble.
  • Self-esteem issues about not having as much money as their peers. This can lead one spouse to resent the other, for example, for not seeking a more high-paying job. Even when overall assets are far higher than the average in Florida, there are always peers with more, and this attitude -- often called "keeping up with the Joneses" can cause couples to fight in any income bracket.
  • Power struggles regarding which spouse gets to be in control of the family's finances and how monetary decisions are made. For instance, one spouse may dictate to the other exactly what he or she can spend on a monthly basis, and that person may resent the complete loss of control, having always made these decisions before the marriage.
  • The above can sometimes lead to sabotage. The person who is not in control, trying to steal some of that power back in the relationship, could intentionally go against the budget or make poor monetary choices.

As you can see, money can lead to serious issues in a marriage, even when the couple's overall net worth is very high. Those who are splitting up need to know how this net worth is going to factor into the divorce and what legal steps to take to protect their own assets.

Source: My Financial Awareness, "Myths - Money is the Number One Cause of Divorce," accessed Sep. 29, 2017

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