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Marriage and Money

Money can easily cause arguments that can critically affect marriages. A lot of relationship conflicts involve financial problems. It is no surprise that this is one of the most prominent causes of divorce.

A couple should have a serious conversation regarding finances. Establish goals, hard lines, and spending habits in order to make necessary adjustments throughout the relationship. Like in every other aspect of a relationship, communication is really the key. If particularly communicating about money can be a challenge, get help from a financial adviser. The factors below are some of the usual causes of financial problems within a marriage, among others.

1. Individuality

When both spouses have a career of their own, it means they have their own earnings. This also entails busy schedules that can hinder them from having the time to talk about their finances. The easiest way for them to go is to split the bills in half or divide them in a proportionate and equitable way. Once all the bills are paid, each spouse can do whatever they want with the money they have left. This sounds like a perfect plan, however, the implication of this method often paves the way for resentment to build up over the individual expenditure made as time passes by. No communication is present so conflict on plans regarding buying properties or retirement is highly possible. This process can also lead to dishonesty or financial infidelity which is a relationship-ruining behavior as one spouse would end up hiding money from the other.

2. Liabilities

From car loans to house loans; shopping spree and gambling habits— these are different types of baggage and financial baggage is definitely one of them. If one spouse has more financial liabilities than the other, or if one spouse is free from any financial obligation, this can really ignite heated discussions when the topic is about earnings, expenditures, and debt servicing.

4. Personality

The personality of each of the spouses is a big factor in matters regarding money. This reflects on the spending and saving habits of each of them. It is important to know your own money personality, and of course, that of your partner, as this will enable open discussion about these differences properly.

4. Control

When one spouse has a career that pays monthly salary and the other does not, or one of them earns or has money significantly more than the other, power play can take place. In these situations, the spouse who has or earns more money often want to control the spending priorities. Albeit, there may be some logical reason behind this idea, it is still crucial that both spouses take this topic on as a team. 

In conclusion, communication and honesty in setting expectations, goals, hopes, and anxieties are the keys to not letting the means be mean to the marriage.

Lastly, couples should also be able to have empathy, to have the maturity to keep themselves in check and abandon any hunger for control. These will surely help in eliminating money as a cause of conflict in marriages.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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