Logo
Family Law Services

Take the next step to resolving your legal concerns by calling us on 011 875-4311 or by Booking a Consultation and we will be in touch

When Debt Equals Divorce

When Debt Equals Divorce

When Debt Equals Divorc

One of the leading causes of divorce is the enormous stress that is brought about by financial problems. It’s almost certainly fair to say that most marriages undergo some form or forms of money trouble at some stage and, after a while they end up in divorce. So it’s especially sad but true to say that the term – and act of - financial Infidelity is not a myth – it’s a reality that people should be more vigilant about so as to avoid it happening to them.

Financial Infidelity You may ask, what is Financial Infidelity? Yet you may already be a victim of it. If your Spouse is spending money in such a way that it places a heavy economic strain on the family and normal functioning of the household, then they are committing Financial Infidelity.

If your Spouse is lying about money situations or perhaps hiding a gambling, shopping or other expensive addiction from you: and if they are  incurring credit card debts that they take pains to hide – then you’re already in trouble and you need to do something about it immediately.

Of course, that’s easier said than done because addictions of any kind take time to recover from and that said, you can only begin the healing process when the addict willingly wants to break the addiction. This could go on for years. So,

Debt and Deceit Sooner or later, you need to ask yourself if it’s worth hanging in there and trying to do something about it, because once the trust in a relationship is being repeatedly broken it will take a lot of hard work from both Spouses to commence that healing process. So it all boils down to whether or not you can afford to continue in expensive hope or settle for the cost of divorce and the closure it brings.

If you discover that you’re already buried in debt and deceit and your Spouse will not communicate truthfully with you – you’re in trouble. If your Spouse manipulates the conversation to convince you it wasn’t their fault or even flat refuses to discuss their spending with you, then your problems are already compounded. Then, clearly you are financially incompatible which can cause corruption at the very foundation of your marriage.

Signs Little disagreements over minor financial issues appear to be of no importance but, unless they are dealt with effectively and immediately, they spread like a cancer into every area of your marriage.

It’s wise to watch out for the early warning signs and deal with them there and then. Remember, that shouting, threatening, accusing and like behaviour does nothing but aggravate the situation. So if you discover that some debt has been incurred, try to control your family finances in a practical fashion and work out a realistic budget together.

Keep track of your spending and stay within the parameters of affordability. The alternative to this is that debt will run and ruin your life and your marriage. Work towards becoming more financially compatible by communicating more meaningfully.

Low Incomes If both Spouses are working but receiving low incomes and struggling to make ends meet, they should give more attention to a realistic budget. There’s a vast difference between need and want. Getting what you think you want, and then finding you can’t afford it, isn’t worth the constant struggle and emotional conflict that accompanies such debt.

Secrecy If one or both of the Spouses are concealing their expenditure, secret spending can put enormous strain onto the budget and the marriage – usually, eventually, leading to divorce.

Tight Fisted When unnecessary emphasis is placed on saving money no matter what, such Spartan behavior could cause marital problems leading to divorce. So an extremely restrictive budget which eliminates any pleasure spending – even when there’s money in hand to allow for a few luxuries - can do just as much damage.
Over Indulgence When one or both Spouses blow the budget – even though it may be together - overspending is another cause for divorce. Watch out in this instance for other already underlying problems in the marriage. Couples often overspend so as to mask the other deficiencies in their relationship. Either way – pleasure or problems – the extremes could result in divorce.

Financial Abuse When one Spouse uses money as a means of controlling the other Spouse – whether they withhold it despite it being needed for the running the Household; or use it as a bribe or inducement for the other Spouse to do their bidding. It makes no difference because whether its financial neglect or manipulation – it’s still abuse.

Common Sense Economy You could do many things to reduce or eliminate financial stress in the marriage. A savings account is always a good idea. Maybe open one that causes you to apply several weeks or months in advance for a specific withdrawal of a pre-designated amount. At lease this way there’s no mad moment mad money splurging. Reduce the limit on the daily amount you can withdraw from the ATM so the impulse spending is reduced.

More especially, start a financial dialogue – most couples don’t discuss financial issues and eventually, even mere mention of money can cause bad feelings between the Spouses.

Money Can’t Buy Me Love ‘Money can’t buy me love’ – advised the Beatles pop group – and they were right. It can enable many people to buy many things but unfortunately love, happiness, or stable relationships aren’t included in that list: which does however, include divorces.

Divorces can be expensive but the really pricey part is that it will cost you the loss of the person you love the most: the person with whom you took the vow – for richer or poorer.