Most Wyoming couples would agree that finances are a significant part of a marriage. Finances control where a couple lives, what they drive, what they buy and even what they eat. Financial stress is a leading cause of divorce, with one recent study stating that 40 percent of couples who begin a relationship with debt feel their relationship was negatively impacted by that debt. There are some methods that couples can use to get out of debt and minimize the negative impact financial stress has on their relationships.
A key component of any relationship is communication. Both parties must be open and honest about the amount of debt they have and their plans to repay that debt. The Federal Reserve reports that Americans underestimate their level of debt by 25 percent for student loans and 37 percent for credit cards, so verifying debt amounts is imperative for thorough planning. Couples should work together to design a repayment plan. They must also agree on household spending and whether debts will be paid off as a couple or independently.
A financial planner can be helpful in crafting a plan to get out of debt, especially if the couple is having trouble agreeing to a plan of action on their own. He or she can provide unbiased advice on how best to utilize assets and achieve the couple’s financial goals. A couples counselor can also provide unbiased third party advice to help the couple gain different perspectives on their situation and learn ways to compromise and work together.
The simplest way for a couple to deal with debt is to live within their means. Sometimes when getting back on track financially things have to be given up. This may mean foregoing gym memberships or an expensive new car. The important thing to keep in mind is that these things will be more attainable at a later time when debt is paid off.
Unfortunately, even with counseling, dedication and the best of intentions, sometimes the financial strain of debt causes too much damage to a marriage, and divorce becomes inevitable. When this happens, it is imperative that each spouse obtains the help of an experienced Wyoming family law attorney. The attorney can protect the client’s interests and work to avoid assuming any debt that should belong to someone else.