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Money Attitudes in Divorce

A primary issue in divorce was, and is even more so today, one of finances (financial assets & debt). If money and debt were an issue in the marriage, it can be an even bigger issue in divorce and a trigger for much conflict. The trouble stems from the spouses having different money styles. Their individual money style dictates how they handle money and the respect they have for money. One would think that each of the person’s money style or interest in money would remain the same going into the divorce. In fact, spouses count on and make future plans based on their spouse having the same interest level in money going through the divorce. However, they can be surprised when the see their spouse’s interest in money change radically. Suddenly, the spouse who was never concerned with money now is digging into all the files to locate accounts and account details, terms and conditions. The partner who never managed money all of a sudden is putting together a detailed financial budget for themselves. Money styles do not change, so while the partner may have taken on a different level of interest during the divorce, know that it is motivated by the need for self-preservation. After the settlement and the partner is comfortable again, they will return to their original money style. Having said that a saver will not suddenly adopt the spender style in divorce, but a spender may adopt a saver style.

Final Word: You will not know how anyone will behave on financial matters in divorce. Remain focused on the details of the finances, the various options to reach equalization and the most palatable option for each of you.

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