Money-related conflicts are common in marriages. Even relationships that are otherwise solid can break down when finances are an issue, especially when the spouses did not take the time before marriage to discuss and understand each other's financial mindsets. For some California spouses, money is symbolic of other, deeper things, such as trust, security and selflessness.
The most serious and potentially devastating money conflicts do not always arise from a lack of money. Even if you and your spouse have significant assets and comfortable incomes, you are not immune from misunderstandings that can blossom into irreconcilable differences.
Are you fighting over money?
Pre-marital money conversations may have revealed that you and your spouse have very different philosophies about money. If you and your spouse are not on the same page regarding how to earn, spend, borrow and save money, you may be facing many conflicts during your marriage. These may be small disagreements, but as time passes, those same arguments may create more tension that can ultimately destroy your marriage. Other common conflicts can include the following:
- A difference in financial goals, such as one partner wanting to travel and the other wanting to save for retirement
- Too much debt, which can burden a marriage no matter how much money you make
- The use of credit cards, including one spouse using the credit card frivolously or the two of you disagreeing on the most appropriate reasons to use your credit cards
- Spending beyond your budget or spending impulsively, which is surprisingly common among couples who earn six figures or more
- Dishonesty with the finances, including opening secret bank accounts, hiding purchases, failing to tell your spouse about your debt situation or lying about your true income
- Uneasy feelings about combining your incomes into a joint bank account, especially if you have different opinions about how to spend the money
- Inequitable earnings, which may cause the higher earning spouse to assume control of the finances
Some analysts believe that a marriage may start on the wrong foot if you spend extravagantly on your wedding. This choice often results in couples beginning their new married life deeply in debt. If other major expenses, such as medical emergencies, aging parents or educational costs arise, you and your spouse may be unable to agree on the best course of action.
If financial issues are bringing your marriage to an end, you should know that they may also affect the course of your divorce. Having a skilled and experienced attorney can help you meet your goals for a financially sound post-divorce life.