(U.S. Family Law and generally) Almost everyone dreams of one day meeting the person that they’ll grow old and die with. Movies like Titanic, Romeo and Juliet and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind give people hope that a perfect love exists out there for each of us. Unfortunately, individual love stories can end much more abruptly, and sadly, this can leave one or both of the spouses struggling with debt. Most people fail to realize that debt is distributed much like property after a divorce, so it’s important for every individual to recognize the consequences of marital debt prior to ending their nuptials.
Consequences of Marital Debt
There are a number of consequences of marital debt after the committed relationship ends. Unfortunately, a person is often left with debts that they now have to pay on just one salary as opposed to two. Even worse, many marriages end with only one spouse having worked throughout the relationship, so the other spouse can be left with huge bills and no means of paying them.
The worst thing that can happen after a divorce, however, can occur once debts are distributed by settlement. The simple fact is that this debt distribution only works if both spouses can be trusted to take the debt seriously. If one spouse chooses not to pay on an owed debt, a creditor isn’t going to care that the marriage is over; they’re just going to want their money from one or both of the former spouses. In the end, this can destroy a person’s credit without them even realizing it.
Avoiding Debt Issues after Divorce
There are several ways to handle debt during a divorce. One of the best ways of doing so is to pay off all debt before filing for divorce. This will ensure that it’s unnecessary to keep up with whether or not an ex-spouse is making proper payments on a shared debt. In addition, divorce settlement negotiations can be used to decide who owes what, but as previously mentioned, this simply places faith in a spouse to keep up with payments.
Unfortunately, many spouses only end up thinking about the shared debt of marriage after it has caused damage to their credit. In these cases, it’s pertinent to speak with a credit repair and counseling agency. Though it may be possible to settle debts on one’s own, a person will usually end up spending much more on a settlement than they need to. Professional companies can work on consolidating, transferring and reducing a person’s overall debt after a divorce.
Divorce is a disheartening time in anyone’s life, and unfortunately, if unprepared, the accumulation of debt can make these times even more difficult than they otherwise would’ve been. Luckily, there are a few surefire methods to decrease, if not eliminate altogether, many of the consequences of marital debt. Just because a person’s marriage is ending doesn’t mean their life has to, and handling marital debt appropriately will ensure this.