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Recent poll blames debt for a substantial number of divorces

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Divorce

California couples get divorced for many reasons. Some are sudden and others happen over time. Infidelity is often viewed as a reason why people decide to move on from their marriage. This can come in many forms. Increasingly, financial infidelity is leading to people parting ways. Recognizing when this might be an issue is a key part of being prepared.

Survey of divorced people says debt was a major problem

According to a Debt and Divorce survey consisting of 526 divorced people, researchers found that around one in three stated that financial infidelity and credit card debt were primary causes of the divorce. Eighty percent stated that their spouse had spent without their knowledge; 70% said credit card and debt they were unaware of caused the marriage to come undone.

The debt amassed by the participants varied. However, 38% said the marital debt rose by a minimum of $10,000. Forty percent had their credit scores drop by over 50 points. Even if people were aware of debt or one person wanting to make large purchases, this too caused friction in the marriage. The survey showed that 57% of those who were spoken to mentioned disputes about large purchases. In the last survey, it was 42%.

Even relatively innocuous purchases like going out to dinner and using the money for entertainment was problematic with one in four saying this was an issue. The divorce did not eliminate the financial strain as 37% said they were obligated to pay for debts that were previously shared. This added to their financial struggles.

Dividing debt is an essential part of a divorce

Debt is a challenge on its own. It can cause stress and fear of how the future will unfold. When the debt happens without the spouse knowing about it, it not only results in financial turmoil, but it erodes trust. As this survey shows, this has been an ever-increasing cause for divorce.

Since California is a community property state where the couple will generally split in half what they acquired during the marriage, it also applies to debt. This can leave people paying for what their spouse purchased even without their knowledge.

When people are considering divorce for any reason, it is vital to be aware of their options. That includes support, property division and debt division. Moving forward can be complicated and knowing what can be done to reach a positive result is imperative.