Finances to blame for half of divorces; 5 tips to solve the problem

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PHOENIX -- Throughout the country, divorce rates are at an all-time high. According to Divorce.com the rate, the number of divorces has been on the rise since 1970. Some estimates today put the divorce rate at nearly 50 percent. Others say that number is a projection based on current trends.

Of those couples who do end up getting divorced, about 57 percent blame financial difficulties for the breakup of the marriage.

According to attorney Stephanie Fierro of the Frutkin Law Firm, you need to consider your financial situation and make sure everything is in order before you even walk down the aisle.

Fierro offered some suggestions that will not only help head off potential problems, but also help solve issues that are already brewing.

1. Be realistic.

Nobody likes to think about the possibility of divorce, especially if you're not even married yet.

The first step heading off potential problems, according to Fierro, is to make sure you're being realistic.

Whether you're already married or have not yet said "I do," you need to have a good idea of where you stand financially. For those not yet married, that could mean implementing a prenuptial agreement, especially if you and your soon-to-be spouse have vastly different income levels.

Fierro said you also need to consider life insurance to help you be prepared should the worst happen.

Most of Fierro's other suggestions stem from common sense.

2. Fully disclose your financial history and money-management style.

"Full disclosure is so important," Fierro said. "If you end up in trouble later … making sure that it's an ongoing discussion will help you be prepared and will allow you to plan together as a couple."

3. Set a budget and review it regularly.

Make sure you take into account changes in your circumstances. Fierro suggests you update it at least every year.

4. Decide how you will keep and/or take titles to property.

Arizona is a community property state, but property acquired before the marriage will remain with the individual, Fierro explained.

5. Communicate.

The Frutkin Law Firm is located at 101 N. First Avenue, Suite 2410, Phoenix. For more information, visit www.frutkinlaw.com or call 602-606-9300, fax 602-606-9351.