Debt And Divorce: Why Talking Before Tying The Knot Is So Important


While nobody goes into a marriage expecting divorce as the outcome, statistics show that the possibility should be taken into account.

According to Divorce Statistics, on average in America, 45–50 percent of all first marriages end in divorce. The likelihood increases with each subsequent marriage, and age plays a role as well, with those in their early 20s having the highest affinity for divorce; those under 20, the second; and the likelihood decreasing incrementally every five years after 25.

Besides the emotional strain divorce puts onto couples, the financial strain is likewise severe.

Money Matters And Marriage

Add to that, money matters are the leading cause of relationship stress and arguably a top (if not the top) cause of divorce. According Sonya Britt, Kansas State University researcher and co-author of a study titled “Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce,” “Arguments about money [are] by far the top predictor of divorce.”

‘‘Til Debt Do Us Part?’

Against that backdrop, it’s easy to see why transparency is so key to a successful marriage — and a healthy relationship with money, regardless of whether that relationship is between a couple and their finances or an individual and their finances.

Talking about matters that are often fundamental, familial-based differences (the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree) before tying the knot can speak volumes about compatibility, thought patterns and dedication to problem solving. As explained by Dave Ramsey, “You can’t have a great relationship until you can communicate and agree about money.”

If it's not an inherent point of agreement, working through different approaches toward money can preemptively help prevent divorces between otherwise compatible couples. Communicating opening about financial matters is a learnable trait, one that could save your marriage.

Below are a few things every couple should discuss prior to getting married.

Understand that marriage is more than “white lace and promises.” It’s a commitment, emotionally and financially, to another person for an indefinite amount of time. It merits long, sometimes arduous, discussions about unpleasantries and unwanted/unexpected obstacles.

Particularly if you're a young millennial, acknowledge that your risk for divorce is statistically higher than other demographics. Don’t avoid the hard discussions because they are not fun or distract away from the enchantment of weddings. Take it seriously and respect yourself and your partner enough to set aside the time and attention.

Posted In: EducationPsychologyPersonal FinanceGeneraldebtdivorcefinancesMarriagemillennialsUSAA