Financial habits between married and divorced people and how they differ

Personal financial habits factor into the viability of long-term relationships. A recent survey conducted by survey, Marriage, Divorce & Credit, asked 1,061 consumers, about half married and half divorced, questions about their relationships and finances. The survey respondents had different financial, employment, racial and educational backgrounds, although the report was qualified as not necessarily representative of the US population as a whole. However, some interesting concepts and differences about marriage, divorce and money stood out.

  • Teamwork... Only 5% of divorced respondents said that money was the sole reason they got divorced, but 51% said that financial differences contributed to the split. The majority (54%) of married respondents said finances are a two-person job in their relationship, whereas 28% of divorced respondents said they made joint decisions when married.
  • Credit Compatibility... While one person in a marriage usually has a higher score than the other, there was a significant difference between divorced and married respondents' scores: 51% of married respondents said their credit scores were similar to their spouse's, compared to 23% of divorced respondents when married. Although credit scores reflect financial behavior, it does not say that married people have better credit scores only that credit score compatibility could contribute to a more successful marriage or factor in divorce.
  • Debt... When asked the type of debt brought into the marriage (credit card, auto loan, student loan, mortgage, medical debt, personal loan or none), most respondents, divorced and married, reported bringing similar kinds of debt to the relationship, with the exception of medical debt and personal loans.
  • Communication... In the survey, 22% of divorced respondents said they didn't know their spouse's credit scores versus 15% of married respondents. Knowing financial issues and working together lends itself to more successful relationship. Communicating, before marriage, if a pre-nuptial agreement would be useful to both parties, is a factor to consider.

In conclusion, this survey points to the fact that financial decisions are an important factor in marriage and divorce. Knowing, monitoring and protecting your credit score before, during and after divorce is critical as well as protecting your assets and limiting your debt.

If you are facing a divorce and have questions about your financial future, you should contact the Stange Law Firm, PC for help

Source: Christine DiGangi,, February 24, 2014