The Federal Reserve Board reports that the larger the discrepancy in a couple's credit scores, the greater the likelihood that they will split up within the first five years of their relationship. A SunTrust Bank survey reported that over a third of the respondents said money was a big area of conflict in their relationships. Furthermore, it is not just lack of money that creates stress in a marriage. Couples in California and elsewhere may be more likely to divorce if they are wealthy.
Attorneys pinpoint several reasons for this phenomenon. One is that high expenses may accompany high salaries, and having a lot of money does not mean that people manage it well. Some individuals may have no savings or have put nothing toward retirement. There might also be significant income differences in these relationships. Often, one person is the high-income earner while the other individual stays home or earns much less. In addition to the strain this could create, the higher-earning person may work longer hours and even travel frequently for work, resulting in the couple spending less time together.
There could also strain in two-income families. Often, couples still fall into traditional gender roles in which the man manages the financial side of things. Divorces are also more common during economic upturns. When the economy is worse, couples tend to remain together.
Divorce can have serious financial repercussions for some people. It is more expensive to live in two households than to share one. A higher-earning spouse may still struggle to make child and spousal support payments while a lower-earning spouse may struggle to get by on those payments and his or her income. Couples might be able to reach an agreement regarding property division, support and child custody that suits them both and leaves them in a better financial position through negotiation instead of litigation.