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Can mediation help when divorce is caused by money issues?

According to a recent interview with a Kansas State University researcher, couples who routinely argue over money may be destined for divorce. The researcher, Sonya Britt, maintained that couples who argue about financial issues early on in their relationships have a greater chance of divorce. Interestingly, this increased risk of divorce exists regardless of the couple’s total income, net worth or even their amount of debt.

Britt’s recent comments were based on a divorce study she was involved with that reviewed data on over 4,500 couples and was published last year in the Family Relations Journal. Specifically, the data indicated that money disputes were typically more intense and lasted longer than other types of arguments between married individuals.

The co-author of this study, Jeffrey Dew, believes that arguments about money may also lead to divorce because they may indicate deeper-rooted issues in the marriage. For instance, issues regarding trust, power or even the couple’s general beliefs regarding money and its purpose. In addition, arguments about money may stem from job loss, which can also create dramatic amounts of stress in a relationship.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the intensity of these financial arguments to spill over into divorce proceedings if the marriages end. Consequently, couples may find themselves arguing for the sake of argument itself, which can make it very difficult to resolve disputes.

In these circumstances, many couples find it helpful to seek mediation to resolve their disputes. Often times, an experienced mediator can assist couples in getting out of their own way and focus on relevant issues instead of staying mired in past disputes.

Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce Study: Financial Arguments Early in Relationship May Predict Divorce,” July 12, 2013

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