Divorce and debt, debt and divorce; the two really go hand-in-hand. Debt and financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce in Canada. When couples divorce and debt is present one or both parties can find themselves in severe financial turmoil.
Divorce and debt are a toxic combination because when couples divorce they can no longer share living expenses and each will have new living expenses in addition to monthly payments on debt. In a divorce, the higher income earner may end up having to take more responsibility over the debt. In other cases, the lesser income earner may agree to take responsibility for the debt in order to gain assets such as the home. One party may end up having to make spousal or child support payments. Whichever way you look at, getting divorced is expensive and both parties can end up with serious financial consequences.
If you are getting a divorce and debt is present, seeking financial guidance will be very important. The financial guidance you need may vary.
Perhaps you are not the spouse who was responsible for the monthly household bills. Learning how to manage a budget will be important if you want to come out of your divorce with your credit and finances intact. Budgeting is eye opening because it reveals exactly how much money you spend each month and on what, as well as how much disposable income you have left once your bills are paid. Budgeting can reveal potential future financial problems that you may face before they emerge and become an emergency. Budgeting also plays a key role in ensuring that all payments to creditors get made on time each month.
Perhaps you are exiting the marriage in debt. This is a trickier problem because if you have gone through a divorce and the debt that remains is unmanageable, this can impact not only your credit but also your quality of life. Even if you are able to manage your minimum monthly payments, the overall amount of debt may be too much to pay off in any reasonable amount of time. If this is the case, it may be time to come up with ideas to speed up the amount of time it takes you to get out of debt.
The type of debt that you have and amount of debt that you have will play a major role in the type of financial solution that you choose to deal with your debt. Secured debt is different than unsecured debt, and even some secured debts can be managed as part of an overall financial plan that will get you out of debt. If you are struggling with debt after a divorce, your financial plan may include consolidating your monthly payments into one and freezing the interest on your credit products. The interest on some credit products, like high interest credit cards, can make them impossible to pay off. Once the interest is frozen, these debts become much easier to repay. Some financial programs also may involve reducing the overall principal of the debt that you owe.
The best thing you can do in the aftermath of a divorce to deal with the debt that has resulted from the divorce is to seek financial guidance from a financial professional who can represent you in the restructuring of your debt to give you a fresh start.
For more information about divorce and debt please visit www.debtcare.ca or call 416-907-2582.