Even high-net worth couples are subject to the pressures of the increased cost of living. Many people take out loans and use credit cards to fund their lifestyle. So, it is no surprise that married couples will argue about how to spend and save what they earned together.
According to one survey, over half of study participants reported they would consider divorce if their spouse was carrying debt. And money can creep into the marital relationship in other ways, ultimately leading to a breakdown of the marital union.
The SunTrust Bank survey
In a SunTrust Bank survey, 35% of respondents cited finances as the main source of stress between them and their partner. Specifically, debt was a major source of contention.
This might not come as a big shock to many of us. After all, the more debt we have the less disposable income we have. This can easily lead to disagreements about how to spend what is left, which can lead to resentment if the money is not being spent in the way we think is best.
Some people even go as far as to commit “financial infidelity.” They buy things in secret, hide loans and credit card debt and lie about how much they are earning.
These actions are not always vindictive. Sometimes they are carried out due to shame or fear of disappointing their partner.
Can debt be a ground for divorce?
If one partner carries the lion’s share of the debt that they foist on the other partner or if one partner commits financial infidelity, the other partner might want a divorce based on financial stress. Still, you cannot cite “money” as a grounds for divorce.
In Florida, there is only one ground for divorce — that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This takes fault away from one party or the other. There are no longer any fault-based grounds for divorce in Florida.
So, while money and debt may be behind the irretrievable breakdown, know that in the eyes of the court, neither you nor your spouse will be blamed for the end of the marriage. How that debt gets divided in the property division process, however, can be a challenge you will have to face if you file for divorce.