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20% of Marriages End in Divorce Over Debt


Many married couples do things together like buy a home, start a family, and take vacations. These things all cost money, and of course, most of us don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around. So what do we do to buy the thing we want? We take on debt.

We use mortgages, credit cards, and personal loans to buy the things we want. We may take on the debt on our own or do it jointly with our spouse. This can make things complicated in a divorce.

Money is a tricky subject to navigate. This is especially true in marriages, where most couples combine their money into joint bank accounts. Trying to unravel all of this can be complex.

U.S. News ran a nationwide survey of 1,210 divorced people. They asked respondents a series of questions about their shared marital debts and how their finances fared after divorce. According to the survey, almost 20% of these divorces were because of debt. Here are some other findings:

  • Two-thirds of respondents, or 66%, had shared debts with their former spouse. Most had credit card debt (42%), mortgages, (38%) and auto loans (30%). Most of those who shared debt (79%) say that it was difficult to separate their debt in a divorce.
  • Because of this, the majority of those who remarried (71%) kept their debts separate in their subsequent marriage. Of those who remained single, 50% say that if they do remarry, they will keep their debts separate from their spouse. For 27%, it will depend on the person, while 10% say it depends on the size of the loan. Only 13% would still cosign loans with their next spouse.
  • Finding ways to earn more money was a common thread for divorced people. More than half of the survey respondents (55%) had to find ways to increase their income after getting divorced, with 21% taking on a second job. Almost 20% switched to a higher-paying career, and 15% of those who did not work while married had to get a job after divorce. Paying for children’s needs was a common reason for earning more money. Those with children were more likely to need to increase their income.
  • Poor credit outcomes were also common after divorce. Forty-five percent of the respondents said their credit score declined after their divorce, with 38% finding it more difficult to obtain a loan or credit after their divorce. More than one-third had missed a payment on their debts.

Seek Legal Help

Money is often a sore subject in a marriage and often leads to divorce. It’s not uncommon for one person to be a saver, while the other is a spender. Employment and earning money may also be an issue.

No matter how or why your marriage is ending, Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can help. We are here for you with compassionate, dedicated and effective representation in the resolution of divorce and all related issues. Schedule a consultation by calling 954-764-4330 or filling out the online form.



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