Financial concerns drive divorce but prenuptial agreements help

There are many reasons why marriages fail. Infidelity, emotional and physical abuse, and simply falling out of love are common causes. However, perhaps the biggest issues contributing to divorce are those pertaining to money. All too often, couples find themselves fighting over how to spend their marital funds and deal with debt. Issues of trust can arise in this arena, which can fester and give rise to resentment and spite.

A recent survey shows that money problems may be an even bigger indicator of divorce than initially thought. There, researchers found those with money issues are 10 times more likely to see their marriages end in divorce. A sizable portion of those individuals surveyed indicated that they believe their significant other is financially irresponsible.

There may be ways to head off this problem, though. First, couples can engage in thorough communication about financial expectations and responsibilities. It's also beneficial to come from a place of understanding when having these conversations so that neither party feels belittled or attacked. Another option for couples is to retain some sort of financial freedom. This may include owning separate bank accounts or holding separate credit cards. However, some experts believe that it is critical to be clear with a significant other about any assets or debts tied to these separate accounts to avoid feelings of distrust.

Perhaps the best way to prevent money issues from derailing a marriage is to enter into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. These legal documents, which are essentially contracts amongst spouses, can set the stage for financial responsibilities and obligations, as well as dictate how assets will be divided in the event of divorce. Therefore, these agreements can head off any concerns about financial irresponsibility during the course of marriage. However, in order for these agreements to be effective, they must be crafted with care. This is why it is usually a good idea to discuss these matters with a skilled family law attorney before proceeding.

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