When people in Texas decide to divorce, financial issues can be some of the most contentious. People can struggle over child support and alimony as well as the division of property like retirement funds or the family home. Given the role of financial conflict in many divorces, people may expect that socioeconomic status is linked to marital happiness overall. One set of researchers set out to study whether couples that are less well-off financially are also more likely to face marital problems. The study examined 431 couples living in one area known for generally low incomes.
The researchers found, however, that financial status in and of itself did not appear to be a major cause of marital discontentment and divorce. It should be noted that they did not examine the effects of new or severe financial stress on a couple, a different situation than people in relatively stable economic circumstances. However, they did find that one of the most significant indicators of marital satisfaction was the happiness of the couple at the time of their marriage. The study involved an eight-item questionnaire delivered on five occasions between 2009 and 2014.
Each member of the couples was asked to rate marital happiness at the time of the survey. Around 60% of respondents were very happy as newlyweds in 2009, while 30% were moderately happy and 10% unhappy. While many might expect newlywed bliss to decline over time, the couples that were happiest at the beginning were most likely to stay happy over time. Those unhappy at the beginning were likely to grow even more dissatisfied.
By the time couples decide on divorce, a number of stresses can accumulate. A divorcing spouse can work with a family law attorney to seek out a fair settlement concerning property division, spousal support and other divorce legal matters.