Researchers from Kansas State University found that certain topics of arguments between married couples can be divorce predictors and financial arguments most often than not lead to divorce.
All married couples argue and bicker about various things in life and according to Kansas State University researcher Sonya Britt, the topic of such arguments can be a good divorce predictor. Britt found that in most cases, financial arguments in the early stages of a marriage can lead to divorce.
"Arguments about money is by far the top predictor of divorce," said Britt, assistant professor of family studies and human services and program director of personal financial planning in a press release. "It's not children, sex, in-laws or anything else. It's money -- for both men and women."
For the study, Britt used longitudinal data from more than 4,500 couples as part of the National Survey of Families and Households. Through the study, the research found that how much money a person made or how much he/she was worth didn't matter as financial arguments took place at all levels. She also found that such arguments are more intense and take a longer time to recover from. Such arguments also last longer and harsher words against each other are used.
Britt points out that financial arguments deteriorate the quality of relationships. Even if low income doesn't lead to divorce, such arguments make matters worse. Along with having a negative impact on children, such arguments also increase stress, which leads to a further decrease in financial planning that could help better the situation.
"We, as financial planners, can help clients reduce their stress through education," Britt said. "This is important because people who are stressed are very short-term focused. They don't plan for the future. If you can reduce stress, you can increase planning."
The study, "Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce," was published in Family Relations, an interdisciplinary journal of applied family studies.