March 27, 2014

Save Your Money, Save Your Marriage

A survey released by the Bank of Montreal indicates that Canadian couples may be more willing to forgive a cheating spouse than to overlook money problems. This doesn’t mean that you wandering partners are off the hook. The margin is narrow between the two reasons cited for marriage failure. The survey study revealed 68% of the survey participants say fighting over money would be their top reason for divorce; albeit, infidelity was listed as a close second at 60% with disagreements about family trailing at 36%.

The household budget is the clincher in most Canadian marriages according to the BMO study. The survey had been released ahead of Valentine’s Day, and found that the person who is in charge of finances for a household, is not always the one to take the blame when budgets are blown.

Consider the survey results: 41% of men say “they handle the finances” in their relationship; while only 15% say “it’s their partner who is in charge of their money.” These numbers don’t seem to add up. It’s not just the men though: 32% of women who considered “themselves” the one calling the financial shots in their relationship, compared with 19% who said that was “their partner’s job.”

The survey study group was a group of 1,001 Canadians, 18 and older. However, the polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

The concern with the survey results, according to Chris Buttigieg, BMO’s senior manager of wealth planning strategy, is that the study demonstrates a “clear disconnect” of the way couples view their spending and savings habits, and by extension, how they view their partner’s role. It follows that any marriage needs to work holistically: “If both partners in a relationship feel they’re calling the shots and they have different views, then there’s going to be conflict at some point down the road,” Buttigieg said.

Also indicated in the poll is that 37% of men surveyed said their partner spends too much money and should be saving more for retirement. On the contrary position, 23% blame themselves for not being thrifty in their spending habits. Men are far from perfect though, 36% of women who were surveyed said it was their male partners who overspend, and 25% of women admitted that they were the ones who needed to rein in their money habits.

The divorce lawyers at Slaferek Callihoo understand that factors that tear at any marriage. If the sun is setting on your marriage and divorce is on the horizon, you need legal help to protect your hard earned assets, contact us today.