Fighting about money is known to lead couples to divorce court, but a newstudyfrom the University of California San Diego finds a lot of it comes down to differences in financial risk preferences. Their research suggests couples not seeing eye to eye on savings and investment decisions is a major driver for divorce.
The long-term study looked at 53-hundred German couples between 2004 and 2017, and asked about how much they were willing to risk in different areas of life, including finances, careers and driving.
After taking influential factors like education, cultural background and religion into account, researchers still determine that differences in risk preferences are the biggest predictor of marital separation in the long run. And of all the risk categories in the study, differences in financial risks were the strongest predictor of divorce.
- In fact, the study finds that couples with the least similar risk attitudes are twice as likely to divorce, compared to couples with the most similar preferences. But there’s still hope for them.
- Study authors point out that financial attitudes and risk preferences are rarely set in stone and their research suggests couples tend to become more similar over time.
- Couples in the study who aligned their financial views and became more cost-conscious during the recession of 2009 were less likely to divorce later on.