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Marriage and Money – The Most Common Sticking Points

Marriage and MoneyMarriage and Money

Marriage and Money. Marriage can be challenging, especially when it comes to family finances. Many studies suggest that financial issues are the most common sources of contention in a marriage and a common cause of divorce. Following are some of the mistakes that married couples make when handling questions about money.

  • Not dealing with a spouse’s debt – It is common for you and your spouse to enter a marriage with a certain amount of debt, or to acquire debt during the course of a marriage. For example, you or your spouse may acquire debt for education, to start a business, or to pay for medical expenses. A common mistake that people in a marriage make is to treat a spouse’s debt as only a problem for the spouse. Either spouse’s debt affects both people in a marriage. Even debt acquired by a spouse before the wedding day can negatively impact your credit rating. You and your spouse should make a plan to handle all debts as a couple.
  • Keeping financial secrets – Some people in a marriage may be tempted to keep secrets about their finances from their spouses. Such secrets may include hidden debts, hidden assets, undisclosed bank accounts, or the like. Some may make large purchases with the intent of hoping that their spouse doesn’t notice, or may open new credit cards without discussing it with a spouse. In marriage, the best policy is honesty. This doesn’t mean you have to share all assets or have only a joint bank account. But it does mean that you need to disclose financial information that will affect your spouse and your marriage. In many cases, your spouse may find out about your financial secrets eventually and you will have to deal with their hurt and anger.
  • Ignoring your different views about money – People have different spending habits, as well as different values concerning how their money should be spent. Some meticulously account for every dollar and cent, while others just check in every so often to make sure the bank account is above zero. Many sources of contention in a marriage stem from the fact that married spouses approach financial issues in different ways. Often these approaches relate to the way you or your spouse may have been raised. In any case, couples benefit from taking the time to identify shared financial goals that each spouse is willing to work toward. In this manner, each spouse can harness their unique approaches to spending and saving in order to work toward a common goal.
  • Failing to recognize that it is sometimes not really about the money – Many couples argue about financial issues, but sometimes the issues are not really about the money. In many instances, money is a proxy for other battles, such as control, power, autonomy, or the like. If one spouse insists on managing all of the household income and severely limiting the other spouse’s spending, the issue isn’t really about money but rather about the balance of power and control in the marriage. Likewise, if a spouse spends frivolously, racking up a growing pile of debt, the problem may not really be the money but rather about commitment and trust. If you and your spouse are constantly arguing about money it may be wise to take a step back and ask whether the argument is really about something else.

Getting Legal Help in Santa Rosa California

In many instances, money problems may be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marriage issues. If you have questions about divorce, Beck Law P.C. can help you. The family law attorneys at Beck Law P.C. can answer your questions and help you determine the best method of obtaining a divorce given your unique circumstances. For a consultation regarding divorce, or any other family law question, contact Beck Law P.C. at 707-576-7175 or visit us online.


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