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How disagreements over money can lead to divorce

First-time marriages have around a 45 to 50 percent chance of ending in divorce. If people are marrying for the second or third time, that number climbs higher than 70 percent. However, the common cause of many marital problems is disagreements about money, and if Virginia couples can ensure that they are on the same page about financial matters before marriage, they may stand a stronger chance of avoiding divorce.

They should be honest with one another about the debts and assets they are bringing into their marriage along with their financial history such as credit rating and any bankruptcies. Couples should talk about their attitudes toward budgeting and savings and whether they envision sharing accounts or keeping their money separate. One or both might be anticipating an inheritance, and they should talk about whether they expect to share this or keep it in their name.

They should also discuss how they will pay taxes and bills, what their insurance needs are and whether they have retirement accounts or estate plans as well as how they will pay for a mortgage. If they want children, they should talk about whether one will quit their job to stay home with them and funding their educations.

When conversations such as these have not happened and the marriage comes to an end, one spouse might be particularly vulnerable if the other spouse tends to handle all the finances. That spouse may not be employed outside the home or may not realize that the other spouse is hiding assets. The first step for a spouse unfamiliar with the family's financial situation may be to gather as much documentation as possible and visit an attorney to get an understanding of how they can secure themselves financially during property division.

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