In the words Jo Ann Citron, a retired Boston lawyer, “Marriage might be about love, but divorce is always about money.”

Financial planner Barbara Shapiro has so taken those words to heart that she had a version of the sentiment inscribed on a pillow.

And because she and her husband, Herb Shapiro, have seen so many divorcing couples fail to understand the business of marriage and divorce, they have written their first book together to address the issue. It’s called He Said, She Said: A Practical Guide to Finance and Money During Divorce.

The Shapiros own and operate HMS Financial Group, a wealth management, financial planning and investment firm based in Dedham, Mass. Barbara is both a CFP and certified divorce financial analyst, and the ranks of the latter are about 2,500 and growing in the United States, she says. As one of those divorce specialists, she helps clients and their lawyers navigate the financial aspects of marital dissolution.

She celebrated her 32-year wedding anniversary with Herb, the chief investment officer of HMS, last month. It is the second marriage for both. He had been advising clients on financial matters for more than 40 years and she for more than 20 when they decided to write the book. (Chris Black, a former reporter for The Boston Globe and CNN, was a ghostwriter.)

“Herb and I had been doing financial advising for years when it became clear to us that certain things had to be addressed about divorcing clients,” Barbara says. “We saw recurrent themes again and again. We were amazed at how many well-educated, intelligent clients knew so little about the basics of marital and divorce finances.

“Our goal in writing the book is not to tell you how to do something, but how to think about it, what questions to ask when you deal with the professionals who are handling your divorce.”

The divorce rate in the United States is between 41% and 50% for first marriages and it’s about 60% for follow-up marriages. Before marrying Herb, Barbara says she “didn’t have a clue about the stock market and how it worked, and I never thought I needed to know.” So she was understanding when she saw an alarming consistency in her divorce clients’ unrealistic expectations.

Typically, female clients 50 and older want to keep the expensive family home after the divorce. Most often, these women have not worked outside the home during marriage. The older divorcing husband wants to keep his income, retirement benefits and insurance policies to himself, and is unaware of laws on alimony, child support and the division of assets in divorce.

He Said, She Said provides information on all the financial matters that affect married and divorcing couples, including the division of assets, the tax implications of selling marital property, prenuptial agreements, the creation of post-divorce household budgets, the support of children and long-term financial planning to manage retirement and old age.

Barbara Shapiro says this is the kind of information best digested well before marriage.

“We think educating about finance should start in grade school,” she explains. “In writing the book, we were not being biased against women, but the reality is more women abdicate their financial responsibility than men. That’s just the way it is. We find spouses thrown into this horrible situation of having to make a decision but without the knowledge to make that decision. I try to educate them to make a rational decision and to understand the ramifications of their decision.”

She says it’s too soon to say if the book will be a boon for HMS Financial’s business, but she has had only good feedback. Some of the advice might be considered controversial—for example, when the book suggests that women yearning to divorce an inattentive husband might instead live a “parallel life,” in other words, stay married but pursue friends and interests apart from the husband’s. But it hasn’t angered readers. She notes that when these women are told they will probably lose the social cachet and financial comfort of marriage, they pay attention.

“People who have read it say it is practical and that is doesn’t pull any punches. It’s the way it really is.”

One woman client who was eager to leave a wealthy, socially prominent husband reversed course and decided to stay after being advised by Shapiro. Several years later, at a gala banquet for a charity the husband was the chairman of, he took a bite of food, slumped over into his plate and died. As the woman client told Shapiro, “I got it all. You were right.”

There are other cautionary tales. One client in the book had a lawyer who neglected to advise him to change his beneficiary. When he died, his $1 million estate went to his first wife rather than his much-loved second wife. He Said, She Said has numerous such examples illustrating the need to pay attention to your marital finances, especially when statistics indicate marriage isn’t always forever.

With money being the No. 1 source of conflict in marriage, Barbara Shapiro says the divorce rate would drop if more people entered marriage with this thought in mind: “Each member of this business arrangement we call marriage needs to know what it costs to run and operate the marital business.”