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A Match Made in Experian Heaven. Is Credit Score Compatibility the Key to Marriage Longevity?

As a divorce and family law attorney, I often ask my clients, as we progress into the case, where they met their soon-to-be ex-spouse. Sometimes it is just for my own curiosity, (some day I’m going to write that book) but in actuality, sometimes this gives the client an opportunity to think back on happier times. In so doing, my goal is to allow the client to reflect on the totality of the relationship, and, hopefully, soften the pain, anger, hostility, malice, vengeance and overall hatred that too often accompanies the divorce process.

My motto to my aggrieved clients is always, “there is life after divorce.” So another reason I often ask about where the couple met is because, as we all know, history does repeat itself. Maybe subtly, my clients will think back about what attracted them to their passé partners and these characteristics will not be the catalyst for forming a new relationship.

So what is the key to long term relationships, marital fidelity and an enduring marriage? (Hint: the answer is not Prozac). The U.S. Federal Reserve Board, those guys and gals who help shape key economic policies in our country, published a paper back in 2015, and determined that one of the keys to a sustainable relationship is the couple’s views on their own personal economic policies. If you are into reading long research papers funded by our tax dollars, here’s the link https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/feds/2015/files/2015081pap.pdf

If you have better things to do, like pay your credit cards on time, here’s a recap: The researchers used credit scores of married and unmarried, but in long-term relationships, couples as the litmus test in the analysis, and found:

*The law of attractions usually correlated to people with similar credit scores. In other words, responsible people attracted responsible people and vice versa

*People in committed to relationships generally had higher credit scores

*And, not surprisingly, these people with higher credit scores more often stayed together for the long haul.

So, if you are a fiscally responsible person, seeking that long term relationship with a like person, maybe you might want to exchange your credit reports on the next date. If you are in a relationship and want to make it last, maybe you should make a date night bill paying night. Not too romantic but a cheaper alternative to therapy and certainly cheaper than divorce.

As a footnote/disclaimer, given the Fed’s stellar performance around 2008, perhaps we should look at the study as merely a folly rather than fact. Either way, two people with good credit can’t hurt a relationship.

Money and honey

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