Debt.com and MoneyWise.com surveyed nearly 3,000 Americans and 800 of those surveyed identified as either divorced or remarried. All of those respondents stated that their finances took a hit after their split.
"What this survey shows is what financial experts have long believed, but had trouble proving," says Debt.com chairman Howard Dvorkin, CPA. "Divorce isn't just a cost that ends when the final decree is signed, we now know the debt-related effects linger for years, too."
- 39% indicated debt and financial difficulties played a role in their divorce
- 40% reported incurring more than $5,000 of debt because of their divorce
- 43% said they're now responsible for joint debt from their marriage
- 38% said their credit score dropped by 50 points or more
- 88% did not consider a separation as a way to avoid incurring debt
"When a couple divorces, often it's not just a matter of who gets the house and who gets the car," says Doug Whiteman, editor-in-chief of MoneyWise.com. "A very important and potentially costly question to consider is: Who will get stuck with the debt?"
When examining post-divorce credit scores, the survey revealed that the majority of respondents saw a "more than 50 point" drop in their credit scores. This type of drop easily recategorize a person's credit and makes it hard for them to apply for loans, buy a house, or get a new credit card.
A whopping 88% of respondents did not consider a separation as a way to avoid incurring debt. Although the majority of respondents reported big financial losses due to divorce, they did not see separation as a way to save money and avoid debt.
"Divorce is so costly in so many ways," Dvorkin says. "That's one reason Debt.com recommend couples have blunt conversations about how they spend, how much debt they have, and what their financial goals are. That doesn't ensure a long and successful marriage, of course, but it does improve the odds."
About: Debt.com is the consumer website where people can find help with credit card debt, student loan debt, tax debt, credit repair, bankruptcy, and more. Debt.com works with vetted and certified providers that give the best advice and solutions for consumers 'when life happens'.
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