Money problems often lead to the unraveling of marriages. Couples argue about expenses and debt. The wife may feel her husband isn’t working hard enough to support them. The husband may think the wife is spending too much money that they don’t have. Resentment builds, everyone wants out, yet no one knows what to do to move forward. Is divorce the answer?
Maybe. But, these financial pressures don’t disappear once you are divorced. In fact, the cost of maintaining two households is greater than the cost of one. So if you feel like you can’t afford to stay married, and you are worried you won’t be able to afford being divorced, what should you do?
One answer is to start living now like you will have to when you are divorced. In other words, start preparing now for your post-divorce financial situation, and you will reduce some of the pressures that are leading you to divorce. For example, if the wife isn’t working full-time because she cares for the children, she should consider getting a job. After all, she will probably have to work once she is divorced. Start looking into child-care options to see what is available that works for your family. Both husband and wife should make a realistic post-divorce budget and try to live within it -- even if involves cutting expenses. If you have good credit, consider refinancing your mortgage. If not, consolidate your debts either on your own or with the assistance of a reputable credit counseling agency. If necessary, investigate the advantages of filing for bankruptcy.
You will need to take these steps after your divorce, so you may as well start now to see if you can alleviate some of the pressures that are sending you to divorce. After your efforts, you may decide to stay together, but even if you still want to divorce, you will be better prepared for your new lives.
~Randi M. Albert, J.D.