When Debt Comes Between You and Your Spouse

Has your spouse been cheating on you - with his credit card?

Now that the most romantic holiday of the year is officially over, maybe it's time to look a romance-killer - debt. Earlier this month we discussed the fact that, thanks to the recent recession, more and more couples are hiding money troubles from each other. With half of marriages ending in divorce - and almost half of those divorces caused by money problems - it's never been more important to understand how your partner's financial baggage can affect your relationship, for better or for worse, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.

Let's say your sweetie comes to the marriage table with some credit card debt and student loans. Assuming those debts stay in her name, you are not legally liable - even after you divorce. But if your spouse's name is associated with a shared asset - for instance, a home or a joint bank account - you may be out of luck. Creditors can and will go after those things to recover funds.

But even if you protect yourself legally be keeping your finances separate, you can still run into problems personally. Previous debts may be a symptom of a bigger problem - your significant other may continue spending big after you're married, upping the risk that your finances may be affected if you divorce. If you're thinking of tying the knot, you may want to consider drawing up a prenuptial agreement to protect your individual interests if your marriage ends.

If you're already in a marriage where debt has become an issue, there's still hope - assuming you and your partner are willing to work together to achieve a fresh financial start. Many times the most important step to overcoming debt is also the simplest - building a budget.

That's why Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys have developed the DebtStoppers Budget Challenge. We're offering a free, downloadable family budget - all you have to do is print and fill it out. Once you can see where your earnings and expenses aren't lining up, you can start brainstorming ways to achieve a better balance. And if you run into trouble, help is just around the corner - just sign up for a free personal debt analysis with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney. You may find that reducing those financial strains strengthens your relationship - not to mention your bottom line.

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