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Sharing debt may have an impact on divorce

Divorces happen for a number of reasons, to all types of people. One of the most common factors that couples point to as a reason for divorce has to do with disagreements over money. This may be particularly true for couples who have a great amount of debt. A recent study found some interesting gender differences in how couples manage debt in their relationship. Anyone considering a divorce in New Jersey may find the results informative.

The study, which looked at over 2,000 adults over the age of 18, asked respondents how much debt they assumed from a partner, as well as the reasons for doing so and purpose of the debt. It found that a little more than half of the women surveyed assumed taking on their partner's debt at 53%, but less than half of men have also done so, at just 47%. What's interesting is that when men assumed the debt of a partner, the amount was almost 50% higher.

Researchers weren't certain why women were more likely to help shoulder their partner's debt. Some theorized that women may be coming from the place of care giving. On the other side, the fact that men seem to assume a higher amount of debt from a partner may point to how men are often socialized to "save" their partners.

Experts warn that no matter what the reason is that a spouse decides to assume the other spouse's debt, it can have a significant impact on a couple's finances overall. This may be particularly true if the couple eventually decides to divorce. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that assets and debts aren't always divided evenly in a divorce settlement. Those with questions about their debt who are planning on getting a divorce may want to consult an experienced attorney to determine their available legal options.

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