Submitted by Jen Jones on Mon, 05/18/2009 - 2:47pm
One of the big myths in the minds of people who are in debt and happen to be married is that bankruptcy leads to divorce. Yes, along with medical bills and job loss, divorce can be considered a leading contributor to bankruptcy, since it can put one or both ex-partners in a significantly more fragile economic position, and ultimately lead to a perilous situation that can be remedied no other way. That situation can happen after a divorce, but the idea that an otherwise happily married couple that files bankruptcy will inevitably land in divorce court is just false.
There is absolutely no doubt that financial problems put stress on a marriage. Well, we already know that financial troubles can have a negative effect on just about every other aspect of a person's life. You may be experiencing your own personal version of that fundamental truth right now. And just like your credit, reputation, self esteem, and other personal relationships, you could one day wake up to find your marriage in trouble or on the verge of being ended if the financial situation isn't improved quickly and effectively.
We must realize, when this happens, that filing bankruptcy isn't the problem - it's the stress of not being able to pay the bills that's the problem. It's the uncertain future, the fear of losing a home, it's the debt collector harassment, and other emotional financial baggage issues that cause, or contribute to the marital discord, not the bankruptcy. In fact, in otherwise healthy marriages, bankruptcy almost always helps a marriage rather than causing divorce, because it's designed to stop stress and help people get their finances organized.
Bankruptcy can reduce the stress, buy some time, stop the harassment and uncertainty, and help couples develop a plan to restore their financial stability and progress. Having a plan helps a married couple work as a team to overcome their obstacles. It will stop the cycle of blame and guilt, and help your family grow in a positive direction toward financial freedom.
Once the burden of indecision about the financial situation is resolved, couples often return to supporting each other and move forward with their lives together. Bankruptcy is a legal process, and it isn't always easy to make the decision to file or to experience. Talking with a bankruptcy attorney can help you decide if it's the right decision for you. And when it comes to marital conflict caused by financial stress, bankruptcy can be the best remedy, because what it's really about is moving forward in life.
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