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Financial arguments cited as key indicator of divorce

It is often difficult to maintain personal relationships despite the positive things they bring to life. Different personalities, different goals, different reactions-all of these differences can make it difficult to navigate the sometimes murky waters of a friendship or romantic relationship. When a Washington couple gets married, these inherent challenges do not go away. For some people who blend well, it may not be that difficult to merge lives and sustain a strong relationship. Others may find daily challenges or extreme circumstances too much to bear, however, and seek to divorce.

A recent study published in Family Relations Journal gives money, and arguments over finances, prime importance as a factor in divorce. The study found that couples who began arguing about money early in their relationships were more likely to divorce. Money has long been noted as a primary cause of divorce and arguments about money are often more intense and last longer than other disagreements, according to the study. Money arguments were noted as a predictor of divorce regardless of a couple's debt, net worth, or income.

If it is tough to resolve money issues during a marriage, it can be even more difficult to make financial decisions and reach agreements during or after a divorce. Unfortunately, divorce can sometimes have severe consequences on a person's finances. Negotiating the division of assets, spousal support and child support may seem like mundane considerations that are necessary elements of a divorce settlement, but it is important for Washington residents who are going through a divorce to ensure that their financial rights are protected and understand the process.

In Washington, a community property state, any property acquired during the marriage is community property and can be split on a 50-50 basis. While this appears to be a fair arrangement, it can be difficult to determine which property is actually community property and which property is not. In addition, courts are not required to split the property equally down the middle as debts and equitable allocation are considered. Courts generally focus on an equitable resolution of the conflict, which can be different than the outcome imagined by the divorcing couple. An attorney can help explain the process, the court's role and possible outcomes to aid in the divorce settlement process.

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

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