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How Money Can Destroy a Marriage on Long Island

When Money Ruins a Marriage on Long Island

It’s no secret that one of the most common reasons couples get divorced in New York — and across the country – has to do with the couple’s finances. Fights about money are difficult to overcome, especially when spouses argue about money but make no changes in how money is handled in the home.

Here’s what you should know about navigating a Long Island divorce when it’s because of finances and how to get the help you need from an experienced divorce lawyer or family law attorney.

What About Money Makes People Get Divorced?

Money is often an all-around stressful topic for some people. According to Business Insider, the following financial issues are most likely to lead to arguments and disagreements about money between spouses. Recurring and unresolved disputes over the following issues can later lead to the seeds of a breakdown in the relationship, and ultimately, divorce.

  • Each spouse has different financial goals.
  • Each spouse has different views about spending and saving money.
  • One spouse has a significant amount of credit card debt.
  • One spouse commits financial infidelity (see below).
  • Neither spouse spends within their means and both may extend their budgets beyond what they earn.
  • Neither spouse can reach an agreement about how and what to spend money on.
  • Both spouses have combined bank accounts and one spouse is spending from that account unscrupulously.
  • The couple runs into an emergency or other major financial catastrophe that neither spouse is prepared for.
  • One or both spouses feel like they’ve lost control over their finances.
  • Neither spouse was raised with healthy financial boundaries or habits, and/or the couple didn’t receive premarital financial counseling.
  • The couple overbudgeted their wedding and are left with debt afterwards.

Defining Financial Infidelity in a Marriage

Financial infidelity in a marriage occurs when one or both spouses intentionally or knowingly lie to the other about money in the relationship. For example, if one spouse has been fired, they may commit financial infidelity if they do not tell their spouse about the termination and continue to act as though they are going to work until they find another job.

Or, if one spouse goes on an expensive credit card spending spree, they may lie to their spouse about how much everything cost. They may say they got things on sale at a deep discount or that a friend purchased items for them as a gift. Financial infidelity can take many forms but ultimately boils down to dishonesty about money between two people who are married.

Some other examples of financial infidelity include:

  • Having a secret bank account that your spouse doesn’t know about
  • Hiding cash in the house in places your spouse won’t find it
  • Lying about purchases and what they were for
  • Incurring debt and keeping it a secret from your spouse

Talking About Money in Your Marriage

Overcoming money troubles in your marriage is difficult if you don’t ever discuss them with your spouse. Couples with money issues need to take time and make a safe space to talk about their concerns about money. They each need to strive to have a neutral discussion without placing blame on either party. It’s very important that the higher earning spouse, doesn’t hold this fact over their partner’s head.

Instead, each spouse needs to have the space to be open about their feelings regarding money and insist that they allow the other the same. They need to look for ways they can compromise or get creative about how to spend, track, and save money so each spouse is both comfortable in the financial aspects of the marriage. If a couple avoids talking about money at all believing that eventually their financial problems will go away, you can be confident they will only get worse.

When It’s Time to Talk to a Long Island Divorce Attorney

All romantic thoughts aside, a marriage is, at its core, a legal partnership. This is why it makes sense that lawyers are often involved in the dissolution of the legal contract between spouses at the end of their marriage. If you and your spouse are constantly struggling with financial disagreements no matter how hard you’ve worked to see eye to eye about money, it may be time to dissolve the partnership. The practicality of money issues can, unfortunately, outweigh how much you care for a person. Living with and sharing finances with a person is entirely separate from romantic feelings, and it takes a great deal of effort to be able to manage finances as a couple successfully. Some couples can’t, and if you are among them, you’re not alone.

Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today to explore your options for divorce. Call now for your free initial consultation by dialing 631-923-1910 or by filling out the short form on this page.


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Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
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Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
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