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Finances during Marriage and Divorce

The extent to which finances play a role in divorce was recently the subject of an American-based study by Experian®, which also looked at how divorce affects consumers’ financial health in the aftermath. It found that finances are a big issue, both during the union and after splitting up.

Fifty-nine percent of divorcees surveyed say that finances played at least “somewhat” of a role in their divorces (20% believe it played a “big” role). In addition, 36% say their spouse’s credit score was a source of stress in the marriage.

“It’s important for couples to discuss finances before saying ‘I do,’ and to communicate frequently,” explained Rod Griffin, director of Public Education. “Couples should also make sure they agree when it comes to financial practices such as budgeting and how to utilise credit throughout the marriage. Individually, each partner should make sure to be engaged with the household finances so they can protect themselves and their assets if the relationship ends.”

Those surveyed also regret not learning more about their future spouse’s financial habits prior to walking down the aisle. A majority of both women and men — 71% and 60% respectively —said their former spouse’s spending habits were different than what they anticipated before they married.

In addition, the survey found that couples’ finances are often negatively impacted by divorce, with the average financial loss reaching nearly $20,000 (in cash and assets). Furthermore, 44% of survey respondents say their former spouse ruined their credit. As a result, for many respondents (39%), the financial loss of a divorce has them going so far as to say they’ll never marry again.

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For expert legal advice on divorce and separation, and other family law issues, then contact our specialist family lawyers today.