Money may not be everything, but there is no doubt that it has a significant impact on our daily lives. Paying monthly bills and repaying loans may take up a large portion of your income.
Debt is a stressor for many people in North Carolina, as well as in many relationships. In a past blog post, we discussed the statistics of how many couples said debt could potentially influence the decision to end a relationship. A recent study seems to confirm that reality.
What does the study show?
U.S. News and World Report conducted a survey in January of divorced individuals across the nation. In this study group, 19% stated that debt was a contributing cause of the divorce. However, what is more concerning is that 41% of responders do not believe their debts were divided fairly.
Of course, the results of this study by no means speak for all couples. Every situation is different. Even so, it is important to be aware of these issues and how they could affect your individual case.
What should you do?
If you are debating divorce – and concerned about how you will handle any debts in the process – there are ways you can prepare yourself. These three steps can help:
- Get informed about debt: It will help to not only take time to review the details of your personal and marital debts but also any loan agreements. It is important to determine who is responsible for the debt, the interest rates and the terms of the agreements.
- Get informed about the law: Mixing family matters with legal matters is never easy. However, that means it is even more critical to become familiar with North Carolina’s laws regarding divorce – particularly the rules about how you handle marital assets and liabilities. Understanding your property rights is just the first step to ensure a fair division of marital property.
- Make a plan: With the information you gather, the next step will be to formulate a plan of how to manage your debts and protect your finances through the property division process. Evaluate the information along with your needs to determine how you will approach both your divorce and your debts.
Additionally, it can help to consider working with a financial or divorce professional. Doing so can help you understand your finances, as well as how a divorce can change them. A professional can also help prepare you and your finances for your post-divorce life.