According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Alabama easily ranks in the top 10 nationally in divorce rates per year. The number one cause for divorce is not adultery, but finance-related tensions.
In fact, according to the New York Times, longitudinal data shows that couples who fight over money "almost everyday" are four times as likely to divorce than couples who fight over money "less than once per month." That being said, what can be done to reduce the money fights and therefore reduce divorce?
The easiest recommendation for saving one's marriage is to combine spousal income, expenses, and wealth. Merging finances is easier said than done though. How do couple's accomplish this feat of miracles?
- Attend premarital education. Couples who are equipped with premarital education (which includes financial education) reduce their chances of divorce by 31%;
- Change pronouns from "you" and "me" to "us" and "we";
- Prepare a detailed written or electronic budget on a monthly basis;
- Eliminate debt as quickly as possible;
- Make goals together;
- Do not make large financial decisions without the other's consent.
In conclusion, married couples are almost always financially better off during their marriage then after their divorce--two households cost more than one.