The Second Leading Cause of Divorce Might Surprise You

The Second Leading Cause of Divorce Might Surprise You

According to a survey from Ramsey Solutions, fights revolving around money are the second leading cause of divorces in the U.S., with infidelity being the leading cause. The combination of ineffective communication and debt often causes stress around financial situations, leading many couples to seek a divorce.

Survey Findings Regarding Divorce and Financial Fights

The Ramsey Solutions survey took place in 2017 and interviewed 1,000 American adults to determine how people behave on a financial level and how spouses talk about money with each other.

The survey found that couples were far more likely to fight about money if they were in debt involving amounts of $50,000 or more. The survey also found that:

  • Around two-thirds of all marriages begin in debt
  • One-third of people who fight with a spouse about money state that they hid a purchase because they knew that their spouse wouldn’t approve
  • 63% of individuals with $50,000 or more in debt are uncomfortable about discussing personal finances with their spouse
  • 94% of spouses who claimed that their marriage was “great” discussed monetary goals with their spouses more frequently

Types of Money Issues that Lead to Divorces

Financial fights can involve many issues beyond debt. In addition to debt, there are a few common issues that can cause married couples to fight about money in different contexts.

Disagreement About Who Owns What

Property Division Lawyer Roger Stelk

In some marriages, couples decide to simply split costs equally between them or distribute funds equitably in another way. However, this often leads individuals to feel resentment over the other spouse’s purchases, and this type of property division can make it harder for couples to make long-term financial plans, including retirement and purchasing a home. Dividing spending power can also lead one spouse to hide expenses from the other out of fear of disapproval, which is known as financial infidelity.

Difference in “Money Personality”

Personality is another factor that can contribute to conflicts around money and spending or saving habits. While some people may have a natural tendency to save more money, others may be more inclined to spend extravagantly, which can lead to serious disagreements and resentment even if the couple is debt-free.

While disagreements about finance and debt often lead to heated arguments that culminate in a divorce, understanding and effectively communicating money issues can help maintain a healthy marriage between couples who might otherwise struggle.

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