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Nearly Half of Divorced or Separated U.S. Adults Wish They Had Spent More Time Discussing Finances Before Marriage, Finds New Survey

WHITING, Ind. May 23, 2012 the United States May 1st

A variety of different financial topics were revealed as vital for couples to examine before heading down the aisle. When asked what they thought were the most important topics for soon-to-be married couples to discuss regarding their finances, married, separated or divorced adults said the following:

  • Spending habits – 79 percent
  • Existing credit card debt – 78 percent
  • Monthly budgets (e.g. household expenses) – 74 percent
  • Long-term financial goals – 74 percent
  • Other existing debt – 71 percent
  • Division of monthly household expenses (e.g. who will pay for what) – 56 percent
  • Other – 8 percent

Once couples tie the knot, honesty about spending habits can be challenging. In fact, 41 percent of married U.S. adults said they have hidden purchases from their spouse.

Jackie Warrick

Sometimes financial hurdles pop up further into a marriage. When asked which financial "skeletons in the closet" they found out about their spouse after they wed, currently married U.S. adults and divorced/separated U.S. adults had significant differences. Overall, 45 percent of U.S. adults who are currently divorced or separated said they found financial "skeletons in the closet" of their spouse, significantly more than the 16 percent of those currently married.

The financial skeletons discovered by divorced/separated U.S. adults after marriage include:

  • My former spouse had a low credit score – 19 percent
  • My former spouse carried large amounts of debt – 13 percent
  • My former spouse lied about the income he/she made – 10 percent
  • My former spouse had declared bankruptcy in the past – 3 percent
  • Other – 18 percent

Those who have said "I do" before had a wide range of advice for soon-to-be married couples. When asked what was the number one financial lesson they would want to share with engaged couples, a random sampling of U.S. adults shared the following:

  • Be honest and don’t keep financial secrets.
  • Share a checkbook for 90 days before getting married.
  • Be secure with your partner’s spending habits.
  • Cooperate to make long and short-term financial goals. Develop trust and worth together.
  • Dedicate an agreed upon amount to education and retirement funds and don’t deviate from that plan.
  • You can never save too much.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about finances, especially when things are tight.
  • Know each other’s credit score.
  • Live debt-free at all times.
  • Always make sure your rent or mortgage is paid first, then little bills. If anything is left, go out on a date.

the United States May 1st Allison Nawoj [email protected]

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