Fights Over Money Often Lead to Divorce

by Norris Law Group on December 12, 2013

financial_divorce_150A July 2013 article in the Deseret News examines research by Jeffrey Dew, a professor in the Department of Family, Consumer and Human Development at Utah State University which found that money really is a driving factor of arguments in marriages.

Dew collected data for a study entitled “Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce” with Sonya Britt of Kansas State University and Sandra Huston of Texas Tech University. The Deseret News quotes Dr. Britt, “When people feel like they are being treated unfairly, their satisfaction falls, especially true with money issues.”

The research team conducted a longitudinal study of 4500 married couples for the study published in the academic journal Family Relations in September 2012. The data was collected as part of the larger National Survey of Families and Households.

Dew reported that female respondents said that arguments over money or sex were the most likely predictors of divorce, while males only cited arguments over money as harbingers of divorce.

Britt went on to make further inferences based on the study’s findings: “…it is my conclusion based on prior work that a lot of money arguments are the result of power differentials or feelings of not being treated fairly…When one partner makes more money than the other partner, the couple has to decide if they each get to spend equal amounts of money on personal preference items.”

Britt also cited her own research, which finds that couples argue more often when the wife earns more money than her spouse: “Even today, there appear to be ‘standards’ that the man should be the breadwinner of the family. If he’s not, there could be disagreements on how much he should be contributing to the household work to compensate for the woman contributing more to the financial affairs.”

Dr. Britt goes on to offer some solutions as well, including encouraging open, honest discussions about money between partners and even seeking out a financial counselor before getting married.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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