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How Disagreements Over Spending Lead to Divorce

Stressed couple argue about credit card bills while sitting at a table.

Overspending and hidden debt can lead to divorce.

According to a new survey, finances can be a major source of tension in a relationship that frequently leads to divorce. Last year, about 1 in 3 divorcees cited credit card debt and spending as a factor in the dissolution of their marriages.

While debt may not singularly cause divorce, researchers for's annual Debt and Divorce survey noted that attempts to hide debt often did irreparable harm to marriages. Nearly seven out of ten respondents admitted to either themselves or their partners concealing spending and/or credit card debt.

When debt is a factor in divorce, a typical result of the dissolution is more debt for the deceived or initiating spouse. However, with careful planning, you can reduce your risk of taking on debt after a divorce.

Debt and divorce survey results

Without careful planning and legal consultation, the chance of taking on undue debt is high. Results from the survey underscore the potential for an increase in debt post-divorce, with over 20 percent of respondents reporting taking on $15,000-$20,000 in debt due to the split. Key findings from the Debt and Divorce survey include:

  • Credit card spending factored into 34 percent of divorces, with millennials disproportionately affected, citing debt in 41 percent of cases.
  • Men were more likely (40 percent) than women (31 percent) to divorce due to debt. Yet, women were more prone to accumulating debt post-divorce, with 67 percent reporting significant financial liabilities compared to 33 percent of men.
  • Over one-third of divorcees now bear sole responsibility for debts once shared with their former spouses.
  • Nearly 70 percent of couples who divorced over credit card debt admitted to concealing it from each other.
  • Regionally, divorcees in the South Atlantic U.S. were most likely to cite debt as a major factor, followed by the East North Central Region, encompassing Indiana.

Plan to reduce financial risks in a divorce

Planning for divorce can help individuals avoid taking on added debt and losing important assets, like retirement savings and business interests. Mitigating financial risks during divorce requires careful planning and consultation:

  • Secure pre-marital assets, such as valuable possessions, as they are likely to remain with the possesser post-divorce.
  • Prioritize clearing shared debts before finalizing divorce proceedings to avoid future financial entanglements.
  • Seek professional legal advice from experienced family law attorneys to navigate the divorce proceedings and safeguard assets.

Even in agreeable divorces, when credit card debt is a factor, consulting an attorney well-versed in Indiana divorce law is important to protect your rights and property. Proceedings can turn contentious for unforeseen reasons.

At Hocker Law, LLC, our divorce attorneys help people considering the termination of marriage understand their options. We have the resources and experience to help settle issues like child custody and asset division while advocating for your best interests at every turn.

Plan for a smooth divorce that meets your needs

Beginning with an initial free consultation, we attentively listen to your concerns. We view divorce as an opportunity for positive transformation and are honored to assist families across Indiana in navigating this transition. You deserve a fresh start. Contact Hocker Law, LLC at (317) 578-1630 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

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