It is not a secret that one of the leading reasons for divorce is money, and since high net worth marriages involve more money than other marriages, money plays an even more significant role when high net worth divorces occur.
An abundance of financial resources can cause a strain on a marriage, from keeping track of such resources to staying on the same page with your partner. It adds a layer of complexity onto your marriage that others may not experience, and due to this, many high net worth marriages fall apart due to the stresses of finances. Below are a few of the reasons why finances can contribute to a high net worth divorce:
Money is Personal – While money can be thought of as a tangible item, there is usually a lot more to it. Money matters can become very personal. For example, if your spouse criticizes how you spend money, or if a spouse is not open about how much money they have and where they are spending it, you may become defensive and take it personally. Additionally, when a family business or professional practice is involved, the financial decisions that are made for the business can have a personal effect and may cause conflict if both spouses are not in agreement.
Mismatched Priorities – Having a large amount of money can be a good thing – especially when you and your spouse have the same priorities. However, when the opposite occurs, and your priorities are distinctly different than your spouse’s, problems are likely to arise. For example, if one of your priorities is to save for your children’s college tuition, and your spouse’s main priority is to invest the money in a vacation home or other luxuries, conflicts may occur.
Power Imbalance – If the financial roles in your relationship are not equal, and most times they are not due to one spouse bringing in the majority of income, one spouse may feel as if they are inferior. On the other hand, the spouse who is bringing in the income may feel a lot of pressure in their role and feel that they are doing more than their fair share in the relationship. The spouse that is known as the “breadwinner” may also overutilize their sense of power. This can cause conflicts, especially if communication is closed.
Hiding Finances – When one spouse is not honest about their finances, or if they purposely hide money to keep it from the other spouse, conflicts are bound to happen. Such as with sexual infidelity, financial infidelity can cause many of the same feelings and issues since both are dishonest and emotionally damaging.
Related: Learn more about the characteristics of a high net worth divorce.
While it is evident that finances can cause problems in high net worth marriages and can lead to divorce, there are also ways you can prevent these issues from arising. Communication is key and is one of the main ways you can overcome the hurdles of finances.
For information about what our experienced attorneys at Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby can do to help you in your high net worth divorce, contact us online or call our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at 412-261-4040.