It doesn’t matter whether you are talking to a family member about your income, a friend about a loan or a co-worker about your debt, conversations about money can easily turn awkward. Indeed, even conversations with a spouse about money can rapidly become uncomfortable and sometimes contentious.

By way of illustration, consider that a recent study performed by researchers at Kansas State University found that fights over money were the top predictor of divorce among roughly 4,500 married couples who participated in the National Survey of Families and Households.

Breaking it down further, the researchers found that this result held true regardless of a couple’s net worth or the amount of money they made.

Why then do arguments over money have such a detrimental impact on marriage?

According to the researchers, arguments over money tend to result in couples using decidedly harsher language and last much longer than other quarrels. In addition, arguments over money tend to reoccur. All of these factors, they argue, mean money-related fights take longer to recover from and can result in more lasting damage.

Fortunately, all is not lost for those couples who frequently find themselves at odds over money. Indeed, experts have compiled a few basic tips that can go a long way toward helping address the problem:

  • Take the time to sit down and have an honest discussion about money, looking over bank and credit card statements, credit reports and other important financial documents. Since the idea is to reach a mutual resolution, both spouses must remember to be respectful and open-minded. It may be advisable to meet with a financial advisor if this proves difficult.
  • Establish a budget and remain committed to complete financial transparency, such that there are no surprises going forward.
  • Come together to tackle any financial issues that arise, working together to create a solution, not more conflict.

Do you have arguments with your spouse about financial issues? If not, what have you done differently?

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you would like to learn more about divorce or have concerns about a divorce-related issue.