When people in California consider divorce, some of the most common issues that can lead to the end of a marriage are financial. Indeed, 59 percent of divorcing couples say that financial issues played at least some role in the split, according to a study by Experian, the credit bureau. In addition, 20 percent said that finances were a major issue, and 26 percent said that credit scores and handling of credit were a major obstacle in the relationship.
For couples who are embarking on married life and want to avoid divorce, setting financial priorities together and sharing information can be key to avoiding these issues further down the line. People who have similar attitudes toward saving and spending may be more compatible with one another because both partners will be on the same page about how to handle financial issues and problems that arise.
Some people may choose to formalize their financial decisions about marriage by making a prenuptial agreement. While prenups are relatively uncommon and are often associated with celebrities or extremely wealthy people, they can also be helpful to many people with average income and assets. Prenups aren't only a future plan for divorce; they also allow people to make a contract about other financial details before beginning the marriage. This can include issues like requiring the change of beneficiary designations for assets like life insurance or retirement plans. Inaccurate or outdated designations can lead to serious conflicts in case of a death.
Couples who do decide to divorce often find that the financial aspects of the split are some of the most long-term effects that they face, long after the emotional and practical issues have been resolved. Whether couples are planning a marriage or beginning to separate, a family law attorney might be able to help partners to negotiate agreements that address key financial matters.