The emotional turmoil a divorce inflicts can be substantial. You go from a being someone’s partner to being on your own. The same is true for all your financial obligations. Suddenly, you must pay the cable bill and the mortgage.
It is a lot take on, and it can feel overwhelming. You may get in over your head. Here are some reasons getting a divorce can lead to bankruptcy.
Financial problems accumulate
One of the most common things couples argue about is money. Perhaps your ex was a frequent shopper, or you had a shopping addiction. Maybe one of you had a mountain of student loan debt. Whatever the case, disagreements over finances cause some couples to split up. After the divorce, all that financial stress can catch up with you. You may no longer be able to pay on all your debts.
Your income has decreased
With your spouse is gone, your household income has decreased. You may be living on half your former income, but you are not paying half as many bills. If you elected to keep the marital home, you are paying the same mortgage payment and the same electricity bill. Not to mention if the roof springs a leak, you have no one to split that cost with. You may have been awarded child support or even spousal support, but that might not be enough to maintain your former lifestyle.
You may be paying for support
You may also have been the primary breadwinner, so you must pay your former spouse child or spousal support. These payments make a large dent in your monthly income. However, if you do not make your support payments, you can face contempt charges or even jail time.
There was a lengthy court battle
If you were fighting for custody of your child, you and your former partner might have engaged in a long court battle. The longer you spend battling your ex in court, the larger your legal bills. This can be a substantial drain on your income following a divorce.
If you find yourself in serious financial trouble after a divorce, know that you are not alone. Getting a divorce is a huge financial stressor for many people. Though filing for bankruptcy may feel like admitting defeat, it can also be a way to move forward with your future.
You cannot discharge child or spousal support when you file for bankruptcy, but many other types of debt can be eliminated. When you file for bankruptcy an automatic stay goes into effect, which prevents your creditors from continuing to collect their debts. A bankruptcy filing may be the best way to get out from underneath the pile of post-divorce debt.