This week many credit card holders will get their January statements showing their Christmas spending. Research carried out by Slater and Gordon Lawyers shows that many are expecting the inevitable heavy thud on the doormat with a sense of dread, not only from fear about their financial situation; but also as to the impact of their excess Christmas spending on their relationship.
Slater and Gordon's research, which questioned 2,000 people suggests that more than a million people will have hidden their true spending from their partner, and that for many this could have serious repercussions for the future of their relationship.
It's commonly acknowledged by Divorce Lawyers that financial problems, especially when considered to be due to the behaviour of one person in the relationship, are often cited as one of the main issues which led to the break-up; experience backed up by the results of the survey. A lack of trust can also be a key factor, and when over-spending and financial problems are hidden, it can often be a catalyst for the breakdown of a marriage or relationship.
In the Slater and Gordon survey 1 in 10 people said they would probably resort to hiding the evidence of their spending, squirreling away receipts, statements and the like, and more than a quarter expressed concern that if their partner did become aware of the extent of their spending over the Christmas period, it would cause tension with their partner.
14% of those questioned admitted they had felt stressed during January and a large number were also concerned that the financial effects of their Christmas spending would affect their family for several months.
The results of the survey indicate the true extent to which financial issues cause problems between partners. It also addressed whether people would be willing to help their partner or spouse to get out of financial trouble, and the extent to which they trusted the other person’s ability to handle finances responsibly. Despite very clearly demonstrated that finances can be one of the biggest causes of damage to a relationship and sometimes its total breakdown, the survey indicated that almost three quarters did not know their legal position in relation to relationship debt.
It has been widely reported that in January, many Family Lawyers see an upsurge in people seeking legal advice on separation and divorce, and one of peoples’ main concerns is about financial matters and in particular, how responsibility debts will be apportioned between them. As with many aspects of Family Law, there is no set answer to how marital debts will be addressed within a financial settlement, as each case will depend upon its individual facts, including how and for what purpose the debts were incurred and by whom, the overall assets in the case and the respective needs of each party and of any children of the family. An experience Divorce Lawyer can give advice on how debts should be addressed in any particular circumstances, and construct an appropriate legal argument accordingly.
Anyone concerned about the division of financial assets following a divorce or separation is always advised to seek early legal advice, to ensure they do all possible to protect their financial security both in the short and long term.
For a free initial consultation call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help.