Divorce is rarely, if ever, a positive thing. It can have silver linings, of course, but it’s the end of something that started out, usually, with great hope.

I’ve noticed three types of couples over the years, as they pertain to finances:

1.) One handles the money and the other handles the family. The problem here is that the one with the family responsibilities rarely knows what is going on with the finances. They assume that everything is ok because they aren’t getting calls from bill collectors, but it’s never good to assume anything. Eventually, everything comes to light, especially if the person handling the finances has done a poor job. Maybe they dipped into the retirement accounts to cover an emergency. Or maybe the money person has been robbing Peter to pay Paul all along. In any event, not an ideal recipe for marital bliss.

2.) One is a spendthrift and the other complains about the spendthrift. Not much to explain here. One partner earns the money and the other spends it. Even good natured jabs get old after too long.

3.) Both are irresponsible and up to their eyeballs in debt. I’ve seen this one way too often. One couple, as I recall, both had credit card debt in excess of their annual income. They didn’t know, and didn’t want to know about each other’s finances. I can understand why. I hope things worked out for them. I doubt that it did.

For a divorcing couple, the greatest financial benefit is the ability to handle money as they choose. Gone is the haggling over money or which bill to pay first. I wish it always had a happy ending for all parties but, considering the above three situations, don’t count on it!