Few things in life can spark conflict quite as well as money. Money also plays a pivotal role in marriage and divorce. According to experts, frequent conflict over finances is one of the biggest predictors of divorce. In Alabama and elsewhere, even couples who are seemingly happy in all other areas of their marriage are not immune to this effect.
An increased divorce risk
A 2021 study that was published in the Economic Journal points to research that shows married couples who disagree about finances are twice as likely to get a divorce. The study looked at multiple risk factors for divorce and found that being on different pages about financial risks was the strongest divorce prediction tool. The good news is that financial discord early on in a marriage is not necessarily too much to worry about.
Preference assimilation is a mechanism by which married couples adopt one another’s risk aversions over time. This means that a couple might start off with wildly different financial risk aversions, but then slowly begin to agree on more and more as time goes on. Those who do not assimilate their preferences not only have a higher risk of divorce, but are also less likely to:
- Meet major financial goals
- Purchase a home
- Renovate a home if owned
When financial disputes are the cause for divorce, it is more important than ever to pay careful attention to money. Carefully accounting for all assets — including financial accounts — is a good first step and an essential part of the property division process. Alabama divorcees who want to ensure a sense of financial security in the future may also want to work closely with a knowledgeable attorney who is well-versed in the divorce process.