I have a few friends and acquaintances who are in the middle of some nasty divorces, some of these marriages lasted under five years, and some marriages lasted over 20 years. Having went through the separation of a 7.5 year relationship myself, I learned that you never really know what life gives you and you can never be fully 100% sure that there will not be a divorce in the future (of course, there are characteristics and traits of the significant other to look for, such as someone being determined, committed to the relationship and not wanting a divorce themselves). I’m sure no one really walks down the aisle on the happiest day of their life thinking that they will divorce X number of years (or months if you are Kim Kardashian or other Hollywood celebrity) later.
However, I do have a friend who is married to someone who is a financial wreck (here’s a red flag, he had filed for bankruptcy before they met) and he has caused her to be a financial wreck too. Unfortunately she cannot afford to have a divorce and a single mother and cannot afford to take full custody of the children so they are trying to work on it because the alternative would actually be more costly. It has definitely caused a rift between her parents and him.
Not only is it an emotionally trying time, trying to figure out your new identity as an individual and not as part of a couple, adding another level complexity with the disentanglement of money and assets is part and parcel of the divorce process.
Money and Marriage
This Moneysense article sums up the potential issues of divorce nicely. Pensions, homes, and even debt is up for grabs (or splitting I suppose). Get to know your significant other before you get married. Obviously it’s very important to see if their values of money management match with yours. Considering money is the number one issue that lead couples to divorce, it is very important to have a similar view of money with your partner. So, how do they handle their money? Are they in debt? How did their family view money when your partner was growing up?