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The role of money in divorce

More than one-third of respondents to a SunTrust Bank survey reported that the main conflict in their marriage was over money. The Federal Reserve Board reports that couples who have similar credit scores are more likely to stay together than those whose scores show a greater disparity. People with higher credit scores are also more likely to remain in a committed relationship. Despite this, there is also some evidence that wealth makes people in Charlotte and around the country more likely to divorce.

One reason may be that there is sometimes more income disparity in wealthy couples. Often, one person earns most or all of the money. That person might also spend long hours at the office and traveling for work, and the distance can put stress on the relationship. Some couples may have high incomes, but their expenditures may also be so high that they have put no money away in savings. There could also be issues in two-income couples. Sometimes, they still fall into traditional gender roles, and this can mean that the husband manages most of the finances.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers also reports that more economic uncertainty could mean fewer divorces. Divorce rates tend to increase in times of economic booms and decrease when the economy slows down.

A wealthy couple splitting up during an economic upturn could mean a high-asset divorce. There might be a number of complicated issues related to property division. For example, if one person owns a business and there is no prenuptial agreement in place, one spouse might be able to claim part of it. Some assets, such as annuities or 401(k)s, could be complicated or expensive to divide. There could also be out-of-state real estate, valuable collections and other property that must be appraised.

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