North Smithfield, RI, September 20, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- In a recent national survey (Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts, August 2013), of nearly 200 divorce planners, only 22% cited “money issues” as the leading cause of divorce. The other two causes, incompatibility and infidelity, came in at 43% and 28% respectively,
To RI divorce planners Kevin Worthley and Susan Dewsnap, both Certified Financial Planner™ practitioners and Certified Divorce Financial Analysts™ with Equitable Divorce Solutions, LLC (EDS), financial problems may be a greater cause of marital strife than the survey indicated. In fact, “incompatibility” causes of divorce could just be a generalization or masking real, underlying money issues.
“Incompatibility is too general of a category,” states Susan Dewsnap, founder of EDS in North Smithfield, RI. “People can be incompatible for many reasons, but in our experience, differences in spending habits, savings goals, attitudes toward debt and risk and other financial subjects that are central to a family’s finances can really put a strain on a marriage and are often a major cause of divorce.”
Marriage as an economic partnership is a core belief at Equitable Divorce Solutions and Dewsnap believes that couples who don’t fully realize their differences about money may have trouble brewing that can lead to marriage problems and divorce later on. “When people get married, they may not fully realize what their spouse’s attitude is toward money or differences between them are overlooked. Once they start living together and sharing income, expenses, budgets and financial goals, these differences often emerge rather quickly. Since money matters are a core component of family life today, we feel that money problems are more of a cause of divorce than meets the eye.”
Worthley echoes these thoughts. “As divorce planners, we often see the money issues emerge in divorce negotiation meetings, where emotions are often raw and conflicts are just simmering below the surface, ready to burst out. If money problems are a cause of their conflict, it doesn’t take much in the discussion to bring these topics out. Since we observe so many cases where money is a big problem wedge in the marriage, we feel the survey’s results understate how much money problems can be a major cause of divorce.”
Because financial issues and objectives are so important in divorce as well as the future of both spouses, both Dewsnap and Worthley feel that having a qualified financial planner involved in the divorce process is critical. In their view, once the divorce process begins, many times it comes down to the money and how the “martial economic partnership” will be unwound. “Depending upon differences in incomes, the assets involved and even the ages of the two spouses, there may be more than one way to divide the marital assets and income,” says Worthley. “While child support is often a state-mandated figure, many times there are alternative solutions to sticking points over spousal support amounts or what assets go to each spouse. Part of our job is to explore those alternatives and craft solutions that could be acceptable to both spouses for their futures, given what marital resources they have.” “In addition,” says Dewsnap, “we often help one or both spouses avoid serious financial or tax mistakes in asset division and when needed, counsel them on whether their future financial ‘wants’ are affordable or not.”
For more information about Equitable Divorce Solutions, LLC and how a CDFA™ professional can help in divorce situations, visit www.equitable-divorce-solutions.com