Money is one of the biggest things married couples in Colorado and elsewhere fight about. To avoid these arguments, some couples stop talking about finances altogether. If the marriage ends up falling apart, this can have disastrous consequences for the spouse one didn’t keep in the loop. The reality of the situation is that divorce can easily lead to the accumulation of debt for those not careful.
A woman recently shared her experience with divorce and debt. What happened to her can happen to anyone.
Married with children at a young age, she found herself going through a divorce at 25. She says she never talked finances with her husband because she wanted to avoid fights. Even though she gave the appearance of keeping finances separate, she ended up depending on his income more than she realized. That didn’t hit home until after the divorce was final, and she found herself having to cover increased household expenses with less income.
Post-divorce, she accumulated $25,000 in debt. She utilized credit cards, payday loans and personal loans to cover her expenses. It took her four years and significant life changes to dig herself out of debt.
What could have helped her situation?
Getting a handle on her marital finances before her divorce would have greatly helped her avoid this situation — or at least minimized the damage. She believes that, if she had taken the time to gather marital financial documents, understood where their money was going, known what assets were available to her and calculated what her income would look like post-divorce, she would have been better prepared to negotiate a settlement that suited her financial needs.
Don’t stay in the dark
If you stay in the dark about marital finances, should divorce enter the picture, you could end up walking away from your marriage with less than you deserve. Between the cost of divorce and the expenses that come with starting over, it is easy to fall into debt.
If you know what to expect, you will have an easier time asking for what you need out of the divorce, such as certain assets, child support or even spousal support. There are no guarantees that you’ll get everything you ask for, and some things you’ll find are not worth fighting for. However, some things are worth fighting for, especially if it helps you avoid or decrease post-divorce debt.