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Couples Not on the Same Financial Page More Likely to Split, Study Shows


As Grand Rapids divorce lawyers, we see spouses decide to end their marriages for a wide variety of reasons. However, we also know that money and financial planning disagreements often loom large.

Couples who disagree widely on savings and investments are twice as likely to call it quits than those who are on the same page, according to a new study. Researchers said spouses’ attitudes toward risk are the biggest predictor of whether they are in it for the long haul.

“Arguing about money is typically cited as a reason for divorce, but a main potential driver of these fights is differences in risk attitudes,” said the study’s author, Marta Serra-Garcia, a professor at the University of California San Diego. 

“Risk attitudes determine investment decisions, such as housing for the family,” Serra-Garcia added. “If spouses have different risk preferences, they will often disagree on common and very important investments in the marriage.”

Serra-Garcia and the research team looked at the risk preferences of more than 5,000 German couples over a 13-year period that ended in 2017. The data was taken from an annual survey performed by the German Socio-Economic Panel.

Participants were asked about their risk preferences in various walks of life, including their careers, driving and financial matters. Researchers looked to control factors such as education, religion, and cultural background.

The researchers concluded that couples that were most dissimilar when it came to financial risk were twice as likely to divorce than those who had the most similar attitudes.

The study also found that couples’ attitudes toward risk often changed to become more alike over time. 

“Preference assimilation could be a mechanism for resolving conflict within marriages,” Serra-Garcia said. “These couples have a stronger likelihood of staying together.”

How Our Grand Rapids Divorce Lawyers Can Help

Regardless of the reason for the split, getting divorced can be a stressful, emotional and challenging experience. The good news is that you do not need to go it alone. A divorce lawyer can guide you through the process with experience and personal attention.

At Kraayeveld Law, our Grand Rapids divorce lawyers help people considering divorce for a broad range of different reasons understand their rights and options and navigate the legal process.

We also assist clients in resolving issues like child custody, visitation, and support, as well as alimony and asset division. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a proud track record of successful results for the people we represent.

We understand the pain and stress that often comes with a custody dispute or related legal issue. A Grand Rapids family lawyer at our firm will take the time to understand your unique needs and craft a legal strategy designed to achieve your specific goals.

Call 616-285-0808 or contact us online to make an appointment to speak with a Grand Rapids family lawyer about your situation.