It may come as no surprise that money was identified in a recent study as the number one cause of divorce. Researchers found that it didn’t really matter if the couple was considered affluent or poor, the lack of money to live the expected lifestyle or differing values in how money is spent often led to irreconcilable differences. Family therapists recommend a number of strategies for avoiding a monetarily-motivated divorce:
- Openly discuss your finances and come to agreements—Too often, spouses talk about financial problems, but don’t agree upon a course of action. Then, when one party spends or refuses to spend, the other party becomes resentful.
- Allow some financial freedom, even if it’s small—Both parties to a marriage need some discretionary income. If one party controls all the discretionary income, that party controls all the power, and the other party will become resentful. Some experts recommend separate accounts for personal discretionary spending, as it allows independence and avoids incessant checking and other behaviors that can erode trust.
- Balance financial independence with accountability—If you are afraid to tell your spouse that you spent money on something, you shouldn’t have spent the money. Be willing and proactive about disclosing your expenditures. It builds trust, and will help you from wasteful spending.
- Live within your means—Set a budget and live within it. You can even allot some amount for discretionary spending within the budget.
- Don’t spend when you are unhappy—You can’t solve emotional problems with money. Furthermore, you can’t buy your way around communication problems. Finally, don’t spend to punish your spouse, or withhold promised dollars to gain an advantage
- Be willing to say when you believe you are contributing more than your fair share or getting less than you deserve.
Contact the Experienced New Jersey Family Law Lawyers at Lyons & Associates
Contact our office online or call us at 908-575-9777 to schedule a confidential consultation. Lyons & Associates, PC, serves the entire state of New Jersey including Somerville, Bridgewater, Somerset, Basking Ridge, Mendham and Morristown.