One of the most frequent causes of marital stress – and often divorce – is financial issues. Multiple studies confirm that high debt and the lack of communication about the debt is one of the major stresses in many marriages that end up in divorce.
Some of the more frequent financial issues that married couples face include:
- Credit card debt: When one spouse continues to rack up credit card debt over the objections of the other spouse
- Budget overextension: When one or both spouses are unable to stay within their financial means
- Financial infidelity: When one spouse has secret bank accounts, credit cards, hidden purchases, or gambling issues
- Impulsive major purchases: When one spouse makes a major purchase – such as a vehicle – without discussing with the other spouse
- Inability to compromise: When spouses have different philosophies on how money should be spent, saved, etc.
Many people who cite debt as the cause of their divorce often find that their credit scores have suffered because of the marital debt. If you are in a situation where martial debt and financial issues are leading you to consider divorce, it is important to know the steps you should take to protect yourself before, during, and after the divorce.
Multiple Streams of Debt
Common forms of marital debt include:
- Credit card debt
- Mortgage debt
- Auto loan debt
- Medical debt
- Student loan debt
If you and your spouse have a joint credit card, loan or mortgage, it is important to work together to make sure each months’ payments are made. If you are able, it is best to pay more than the minimum due each month in order to pay down the debt quicker. If the accounts are open and payments still need to be made during your divorce, the court will decide how marital financial obligations should be met based on each spouse’s financial situation.
Your Credit Report
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from the three nationwide credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Your credit report will show all joint accounts and debts you currently have. Making payments on time and not allowing additional debt to pile up will keep your credit score intact.
Filing for Bankruptcy
If your financial situation is dire, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy. If this is something you and/or your spouse are considering, you will want to speak with your divorce attorney and find out if filing for bankruptcy before filing for divorce or after your divorce is final will be more beneficial for your situation.
It is important to note that if you are granted bankruptcy, not all debts are included. Spousal support/maintenance, child support, student loans, and income taxes must be paid. These financial obligations cannot be included in a bankruptcy filing.
Contact a DuPage County, Illinois Divorce Attorney Today
Your current financial situation can make or break your future. If you are going through a divorce and worried about the final financial outcome, contact an Elmhurst, Illinois divorce attorney at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLP. We will ensure that you get a fair division of property, assets, and debt. Call us at 312-605-4041.