Divorce Study: Arguing about Money is the Top Predictor of Divorce

It is true that having financial arguments early in a marriage may predict divorce. According to Sonya Britt, a Kansas State University researcher, arguing about money is the top predictor of divorce.

Her research found that couples who argue about money early in their relationship were at greater risk for divorce, regardless of their income, debt or net worth.

"Arguments about money (are) by far the top predictor of divorce," she said. "It's not children, sex, in-laws or anything else. It's money -for both men and women."

"Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce' is the title of the study published in 2012 in Family Relations journal. As part of the National Survey of Families and Households, it examined longitudinal data from more than 4,500 couples.

Also concluded by the research was the fact that marital arguments about money were usually longer and more intense than other types of marital disagreements.

Why does this type of argument concerning money cause a rift in relationships? It is speculated by co-author Jeffrey Dew that fights regarding money may be indicative of deeper stressors in the relationship. These stressors or issues may include power and trust. He said couples may argue about money due to negative financial events like a job loss and that the stress might overwhelm them.

Dew also said that these financial arguments may stem from couple's deeply held beliefs about the purpose of money.

"We all have deeply held beliefs about the best way to use money (e.g., use money for status, use money for security, etc.) Often these beliefs come from the family in which we grew up," Dew said. "Sometimes spouses' beliefs differ and so they come into conflict. You might imagine a spouse who feels that money is best used for status married to someone who feels that money is best used for security. This couple would then probably have more conflict."

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Source: Divorce Study: Financial Arguments Early in Relationship May Predict Divorce, The Huffington Post, Posted: 07/12/2013 4:29 pm EDT, Updated: 07/16/2013 3:26 pm EDT