By Guest Contributor, Aaron Hill   |   December 13th, 2008

Aaron Hill is a third year student at the University of Dayton School of Law, externing at Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues.

moneyroot.jpgHave you discussed with your significant other how the household finances will be managed? This is an often overlooked question that newlyweds fail to discuss. Among other reasons, “money problems” are cited as one of the leading reasons for divorce. It is, therefore, paramount for couples to share a similar outlook on money matters before they get married.

Communication and Compromise are the Key

Communication and compromise are the keys to any successful relationship. Couples who discuss what their financial goals and responsibilities are before they get married are starting their marriage on the right foot. It is crucial for the couples to sit down and communicate both long and short term goals. Short term goals include who is going to be responsible for paying the bills, handling the investments, or whether to establish joint banking accounts. Long term goals can include having children and how many, when to retire, and what kind of lifestyle to lead. When couples communicate these long and short term goals, their relationship is much more likely to succeed. When couples do not see eye-to-eye on any of these goals, reaching a compromise can help alleviate tension caused by these financial decisions.

Is Money the Culprit?

Money is one of the most common cited reasons for divorce. However, it can be argued that it really masks deeper flaws in a marriage. Money can cause a great deal of friction in a relationship. These frictions include not having enough money to spending too much of it. It boils down to managing what money you have. However, these frictions can often be traced back to deeper problems in a relationship. According to Olivia Mellan, a therapist who specializes in helping people with money problems, “It’s always what the money represents: dependency, control, freedom, security, pleasure, self-worth…” Often when financial arguments erupt between couples, they end up being fueled by problems other than money. Those problems can be a lack of trust, a need for control, an inability to compromise, or a lack of communication. If these larger problems can be identified, then they will be less likely to manifest themselves through the facade of “financial problems”.

Consider a Prenuptial Agreement

There are two major stereotypes that surround the idea of a prenuptial agreement. The first is that they are only for the rich and the famous. The second is that they are cold, mechanical devices that are based on the presumption of your marriage becoming a failure. The reality is that most young couples getting ready to get married do not need to bother with a prenuptial agreement, because they bring little to no assets to the marriage. However, prenuptial agreements are also not reserved only for the Hollywood stars. If you expect an inheritance, have a trust fund, or own a business, it can be important to protect those assets if your marriage ends in divorce. Also, if you are entering into a second marriage, you can ensure that your children of the first marriage will not lose their inheritance to a divorce. Although no one likes to marry and plan for divorce, prenuptial agreements can prevent a messy divorce, as well as save time and money.

Even though money is a popular reason for divorce, it can be prevented by communication and compromise. Make a financial plan before the marriage. It can lead to a happier and healthier marriage. A link to an article on this subject is at MSN Money Matters, written by Liz Pulliam Weston, including more from therapist Mellan can be found by clicking here.

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About The Author: Guest Contributor, Aaron Hill
Aaron Hill is a third year student at the University of Dayton School of Law, externing at Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues.

Is Money Really the Root of all Evil?

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