New Research Reveals Top Predictor of Divorce


divorceBy Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

When it comes to Black love and marriage, there is no denying that there is a crisis that can no longer be ignored. Don’t believe me? Just search for a post that I or another blogger has written on the subject of Black love and marriage and then scroll down to the comments section. The fight that goes on, primarily between Black men and women is often a more compelling read than the actual blog post and can also be more informative with regards to the state of relationships.

A new study is now suggesting that the top reason for couples heading to divorce court is arguments about money. While the study says that the arguments are a top predictor of divorce, regardless of the level of income, I would argue that if finances are strained, that compounds the problem. Now we are back to Black love and marriage: While we are constantly reminded that justice is unequally dispensed in America more often than anything else, we also have to look at the effects that has on many Black homes and communities.  In short, finances are disproportionately more strained in Black homes than in non-Black homes. Of course the justice system is not the only factor but it certainly plays a part, as do other forms of institutionalized racism. See below for more on the study:

Arguing about money is the top predictor of divorce, according to Sonya Britt, a Kansas State University researcher.

On Friday, she shed light on her research, which found that couples who argued about money early in their relationships — regardless of their income, debt or net worth — were at a greater risk for divorce.

“Arguments about money [are]by far the top predictor of divorce,” she said. “It’s not children, sex, in-laws or anything else. It’s money — for both men and women.”

The study, titled “Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce” and published in 2012 in Family Relations journal, looked at longitudinal data from more than 4,500 couples as part of the National Survey of Families and Households.

The research also concluded that arguments about money were longer and usually more intense than other types of marital disagreements.

“It doesn’t matter how long ago it was, but when they were first together and already arguing about money, there is a good chance they are going to have poor relationship satisfaction,” Britt said.

This isn’t the first time a link has been found between divorce and finances. In September 2011, researchers at the University of Missouri found that couples who receive government assistance are more likely to split.




  1. The top predictor for divorce is marrying someone your are not on the same accord with. When there is anything you see in your mate that triggers the thought "she/he will change once we are married" that is a divorce waiting to happen. Grown folks do what they want. If they drank, cussed, cheated, hit you, lied to you, spent money stupidly or any thing else you can't deal with, it's not going to change when you get married. Enjoy your life and avoid the stress. Divorce is toxic and costly. You don't need any of that to try to prove you are loveable. Love yourself more.

  2. My thoughts are that finances is a major factor when your marriage is not based on love , but expectations . There is no opposite to love. One than must question the self, was it love or for materialistic purposes

  3. A Bernard Coffer on

    That is good advice ms.Price. may people do not pay attention to the red flages going off…. that's because every human being is looking for love, sometimes in all the wrong places. Some compromise just to be
    excepted…that is never right in the long run.

  4. What is the root cause of such a high divorce rate in the society? What is the root cause of the hatred, bitterness, and strife that exists between the male and the female? The root cause is the sin of infidelity, unfaithfulness to our word, dishonest, false, and deceitful communication. This produces in our mate disappointment and dissatisfaction, which produces quarrelling and arguments that drive away the spirit of love. Love is the mortar that holds the union together. Where there is argument and dissatisfaction lobe disappears, then there is nothing to hold the union together. So, we break apart.