Avoid Divorce Court: How Couples Can Agree on Finances

Avoid Divorce Court: How Couples Can Agree on Finances
Avoid Divorce Court: How Couples Can Agree on Finances

Solve Your Money Arguments Before It’s Too Late

It’s an age-old problem that comes up in almost every marriage — finances. Whether it’s one spending too much or the case of disappearing dollars, it doesn’t take much for couples to bicker over spending and saving. However, it doesn’t have to end in a big argument or worse, divorce court. Here’s how to keep those money problems from ruining your marriage.

Take a Hard Look at the Budget

Everyone needs a budget and a household really can’t run effectively without one. No matter if only one spouse is currently in charge of finances or both manage the money together, it’s important to sit down and discuss the budget. Some questions to ask yourselves:

  • Are bills being paid easily and on time?
  • Does one give more than the other? Or are we both happy with our contributions?
  • Is debt being paid down?

Answering yes to all of those questions is a great start. If there are some things that either spouse answered no to, they need to be addressed and resolved before moving forward.

In addition, there should be no hidden debts withheld from the other spouse and funds should all be accounted for.

Separate Accounts May Work

When there is an issue with overspending or not knowing if bills are being paid, it may be time for one spouse to take charge of all bill paying and money management.

  • Set up a designated amount for monthly bill coverage and deposit into one account holder’s name only
  • Don’t forget to contribute to a savings and emergency fund each paycheck
  • Come together at the end of each month to review debits and credits

In some cases, separate accounts may work if one spouse is not paying bills on time or not depositing a designated amount to cover expenses. This can also eliminate confusion with money and reduce the chances of miscommunication as well as overdraft and late fees.

Create a Financial Plan Together

If both partners are working and contributing, it’s important to create a fair and feasible financial plan for how much each will be responsible for. After money for everyday expenses and emergencies are set aside, compile how much will go toward the monthly budget. If one spouse likes to spend more than the other, create a separate budget item for that, but only after necessities are covered. This will help everyone better understand where the money goes and what it’s being used for.

Seek Help for Debt and Spending Problems

Not paying bills on time, overspending or extending credit can throw a monthly budget off and lead to marital debt. The result can be poor credit, lack of buying power and excessive collection efforts by creditors. This often leads to marital strain. Contact a debt consolidation company or credit counselor for assistance with repayment and regaining control of finances.

When two people disagree on money it can be a hard fight to win. Take away the battle of the dollar. Work together and communicate effectively. The result will make the entire household and the marriage that much stronger.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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