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Finances can play a very real role in divorce, but it can also have a profound effect on a couple’s financial health after divorce papers have been signed and put away, according to a new national study by Experian.
How much of an issue? For 59% of people finances were at the very least somewhat a factor in their divorce, with 20% saying in was a big factor. What about credit scores? Do they stress out relationships? For 36% of people the answer was yes.
Talking is the key to getting these kinds of issues under control. "It's important for couples to discuss finances before saying 'I do,' and to communicate frequently. Couples should also make sure they agree when it comes to financial practices such as budgeting and how to utilize credit throughout the marriage," says Rod Griffin, director of public education. "Individually, each partner should make sure to be engaged with the household finances so they can protect themselves and their assets if the relationship ends."
Wishing they had the talk before saying “I do”
Having the talk about finances, credit score and money habits before getting married can make a big difference, with people in the study saying they wished they had the talk before walking down the aisle.
And for some when the honeymoon was over there were some financial surprises coming their way, especially when it comes to spending trends with 71% of women and 60% of men saying that their partners spending patterns were not what they expected.
Spending was a clear issue for many with 54% saying that their spouse spent too much, and that the spending was a factor in their divorce. And 53% indicate that they weren't financially compatible with their partner. Half said their partners were running up the tab on their joint accounts.
Money fallout from divorce
When it comes to divorce finances can really feel the burn as much as their hearts, with couples losses totaling just about $20,000 when looking at both assets and cash. The financial fallout was not just about joint credit, with 44% of respondents indicating that their own credit was ruined by their partner.
For some the money issues cut so deep another marriage was off the table, with 39% indicating that they will never tie the knot again due to the losses they suffered. Of those who may well give it another try, 73% said that good credit is now on the list when considering a new partner.
This study was conducted for Experian by Edelman Intelligence, and took place between November 2 and 15, 2016. They spoke with 500 adults who had been through a divorce over the last five years. Participants lived in the U.S. and were over 18 years of age.