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Do financial disagreements lead to divorce?

Keeping a marriage afloat takes a considerable amount of hard work and effort from both spouses. Unfortunately, there are a handful of issues that can bring down even the seemingly strongest of marriages in Kentucky. Of those, financial arguments or disagreements is perhaps the biggest predictor of divorce. 

Finances matter 

A 2021 study found that married couples who disagree on finances are about twice as likely to divorce as those who are on the same page. Published in The Economic Journal, that study determined that disagreeing on financial risks was actually the largest predictor of future divorce. 

Preference assimilation 

Two spouses who start off their marriage with different attitudes toward money are not necessarily destined for divorce, though. An expert in economics and strategy points out that preference assimilation is actually fairly common in marriage. Preference assimilation occurs when spouses develop similar attitudes toward financial risk aversion over time. This means that discord over financial risks in early marriage may actually serve as a catalyst toward better communication in the future. Married couples who do not engage in preference assimilation are: 

  • Less likely to own a home 
  • Less likely to renovate if they do own a home 
  • More likely to consider divorce 

One way to address financial discord early in a marriage is through prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. These agreements give couples the opportunity to discuss difficult matters — including finances — before they become a big problem. Of course, an agreement is not a foolproof guarantee against divorce, so Kentucky couples are often well advised to ensure that their prenups are actually enforceable before signing anything.