According to one study, the top reason for divorce is infidelity. The second, though, is something a lot less dramatic: disagreements about money. When couples do not agree on their finances and end up arguing over money issues, they tend to end those disagreements by getting divorced.
The major money-related issues start with high debt levels. Debt can be stressful and may prevent the couple from using their income for other means. This is especially problematic when one person has all of the debt, and the other person feels like their spouse’s financial problems are holding them back.
The second issue with money is a lack of communication. Couples need to talk about how they’ll spend their money and failing to get on the same page can lead to divorce. Money can, in these relationships without clear communication, increase stress and anxiety.
It’s not hard to imagine how this works. If one person spends family money without talking to their spouse, that person can feel like they’re not an equal partner in the marriage. Additionally, if that spending leads to increased debt or an inability to pay the bills, it just increases the stress on the couple.
People often talk about not wanting to lose their assets in divorce and worrying that they’ll face debt afterward. That can happen, but these studies show that it also works the other way, in that debt drives people to divorce to begin with.
If you and your spouse decide that it is time to end your marriage for any reason, make sure you know what legal rights you have.