Money a major marriage issue even before the 'I do.'

April 19, 2018 - 9:04 am

Following infidelity, experts say money issues are the next leading cause of divorce. And, it now appears to be an issue both before and during a marriage.

Earnings may well determine whether a couple even ties the knot or not.

Local Marriage & Family Therapist, 'Camey' Grau, says national studies show people are getting married at an older age than they used to. 

"I think the reason behind why people are waiting longer is to become more financially stable," she says. "When partners are looking to take that next step, they want to be financially sound."

She says they're going to want a house, likely two cars and enough savings to have a big wedding. And, if they're planning on having a family, they're looking forward now to the expenses involved with having children.

A study from Cornell backs her belief , saying there's a "marriage bar", which dictates that couples are more likely to tie the knot when they've achieved a certain level of wealth. 

Not only are couples that earn a higher amount more likely to get married, the study suggests that people with similar salaries to their partners also have a greater chance of staying together.

Grau agrees, to an extent. "That's important because it makes the playing field equal in terms of what each person can bring to the marriage. When you have a deficit, the person who's making less money doesn't always feel like an equal contributor."

"If that is a challenge in terms of how someone perceives themselves...if that values into their self-worth, if that values into their self-esteem in the relationship...than, absolutely, it's going to affect that."

But she says an inequality in earnings doesn't necessarily mean doom or divorce.

"Obviously, people can contribute in other ways. It doesn't necessarily always have to be financial, but I think it just evens the playing field out."

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