Divorce can be a disaster on many fronts, but monetarily, it can become a bigger burden than you ever could have imagined. Don’t just split up – terminate all joint financial obligations. You may be liable for things you didn’t deal with. “I didn’t believe in divorce until after I got married” announced Diane Ford. That’s why Catherine Zeta-Jones signed a prenuptial agreement when she married Michael Douglas. “Prenups are brilliant because it’s all sorted out” she says. It’s like you aren’t supposed to see the bride the day of the wedding because it may be bad luck. We think that discussing money matters may also be a bad omen. But if things don’t work out you will wish you worked this out in advance. If you own a business, have stock options, or real estate, you have to split that. You also split the debt, even if it’s debt you didn’t know about. So if you are unlucky in love don’t be left for broke. It’s better to be up-front with money matters before getting married. Talk about how you feel about money, find out what your partner wants and how he handles finances. Does he like to shop till he drops, gamble, or is frugal to a fault? Flaky on bills? Been bankrupt? What are his dreams? Do they match yours? For example, he tells you that he wants to go back to the school and that you will have to work two jobs to support him while he focuses on his studies. It would be nice to know that.
Money is the leading cause of a divorce, with sex being the second biggest factor. Divorce is a legal issue, but it is also emotional. Many divorces start out civil, but when lawyers get involved it becomes a civil war. Couples end up spending more on lawyers and end up with less. When the dust settles the reality sinks in. Now you have to live on less income to pay alimony and child support.
About Peter de Kuster
Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Hero’s Journey & Heroine’s Journey project, a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.
Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing, MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.