April 14, 2024

How Financial Distress Affects Marriages and Leads to Divorce

It is not surprising that money problems can create conflicts in marriages and relationships. Unfortunately, low incomes and financial distress are some of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce in the United States.

There is no doubt that money and stress go hand in hand. Sometimes couples face problems due to overextended budgets, and other times they get into trouble due to an unexpected financial emergency. Or, shock may arise from the discovery of a secret credit card belonging to one spouse. No matter the extent, financial issues can create all types of distress in relationships for both poor and wealthy couples.

Many partners fail to discuss their financial situations and viewpoints before marriage. They find themselves unable to understand the spending and saving behaviors of each other after moving in together or legalizing their union. This can lead to fighting and tensions in the relationship. Mismatched financial priorities and financial infidelity can lead to devastating consequences, not to mention the broken trust. Moreover, when any one of the partners starts overextending their wallet with poor purchasing habits, it may cause serious strain on the family. Over the course of marriage, responsibilities, and expenses gradually increase. This could include several unexpected expenses such as care for an elderly relative, childcare, nanny, or the costs of schooling and extracurriculars.

If a couple loses their financial control, they are likely to have daily arguments over money. Such simple arguments and conflicts on financial matters at some point are likely to cause divorce. 

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Why mediation may be better than litigation for those divorcing under financial distress

The biggest reason to choose mediation instead of litigation is that it offers more affordable legal expertise for legal separation. Most couples end up spending 10 to 20 times more on litigation than compared to mediation. Meanwhile, mediation fees are usually a small fraction of the cost of traditional litigation. In times of financial distress, couples may find the cost of mediation to be much more feasible than going to court. 

For those seeking an OC Divorce mediator, we highly recommend Colleen McNamee of McNamee Mediations. 

Read Andrea P.‘s review of McNamee Mediations on Yelp

Mediation allows couples to settle their matters out of court, as the mediator acts as a neutral third party to facilitate proceedings towards mutually agreed upon terms of separation. The process is conducted in a private and confidential manner, which can ease the pain of the already distressed and emotionally broken partners. The mediation process takes place with both parties involved. The timeline and outcome are more manageable by the parties as per their willingness, rather than being left to the decision of a judge in court.

If you are a couple seeking a divorce and facing financial distress or troubles, the mediation process can also save you from an emotional breakdown. Mediators are experts at creating the most respectful interactions possible, avoiding the complexities and hurdles of the traditional litigation system. This article is not official legal advice. Therefore, we highly recommend seeking a certified mediator today.