Different views on money could lead to divorce

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Financial stress is one of the main reasons for divorce. It can simply disrupt the couple’s lifestyle and their happiness in their relationship. For instance, if one person can’t maintain a job and so they can’t make ends meet, the other person may finally decide to file for divorce so they can seek a greater level of financial security – either on their own or in a new relationship.

But there are some ways in which views on money can lead to a divorce, even if there isn’t any fundamental financial stress. In other words, the couple has plenty of money, and they can pay their bills but the way they think about their resources puts them at odds with one another.

Are you a spender or a saver?

One of the more common examples of this is when people have different attitudes about spending and saving.

For instance, say that you are a saver because you always like to plan for the future. This gives you a sense of stability and security. Having money put aside gives you confidence that you can handle any issues that come up in the future, and not having enough money saved makes you feel anxious and concerned.

But your spouse may be a spender. They are far less concerned with what may happen in a hypothetical future than they are with what they can do with their money today. It’s totally fine for them to feel this way and to want to spend their money, but doing so may feel like a personal attack on you. You put a lot of energy and time into saving money, and you feel like your spouse is wasting what you have saved.

Again, this isn’t to say that either side is correct or incorrect, but just that the views people have may be incompatible. When they are, it can lead to divorce, and those couples need to know what legal steps to take.

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