‘Til Debt Do Us Part: Inflation preventing thousands of American couples from being able to separate, reveals survey.
- Over half of singles would not get into a relationship with someone who has large debts.
- The average single said they would be deterred by a debt amount of $33k.
- 1 in 4 believe any debt incurred before marriage should partly become the obligation of the ex-spouse, if the relationship ends in divorce.
- One third said if they wanted to separate from their partner, they could not afford to rent somewhere else to live on their own.
- Interactive map with results broken down in each state.
It’s no secret that divorce is expensive, racking up an average of at least $15,000 in attorney and legal fees. And while more than half of people say they think a partner with money issues is a major reason to consider divorce, some marriages may be held together by that very factor. Record high inflation rates have increased the overall cost of living individually, and money matters could be the only reason some married couples are staying together. If love is not the linchpin of many a marriage, is it finances that is?
DivorceAnswers.com surveyed 3,026 couples to determine how many relationships are not being held together by love but by a higher cost of living because of inflation. This survey determined that overall, over 1 in 3 (38%) American couples who want to separate said their financial situation – exacerbated by factors like the higher cost of solo living and increasing debt – prevents them from doing so.
It seems the cost of separation outweighs the desire to live independently for many couples… This is perhaps understandable given that in 2021 (even before inflation reached its current peak), it was calculated that the average yearly expense of living alone was around $38,266, or $3,189 per month. Kris Lippi, of ISoldMyHouse.com says: “Living separately comprises two different housing payments; grocery and household bills; utilities; and internet payments, on top of entertainment streaming subscriptions like Netflix, and in addition to larger items like furniture and kitchen appliances.”
Broken down across states, this figure was highest in Montana, where 75% of people who want to separate said soaring inflation resulting in a higher cost of living prevents them from doing so. Comparatively, this figure was lowest in Alabama (8%).
States with the most couples remaining together due to the high cost of living separately:
1. Montana: 75%
2. Nebraska: 71%
3. Wyoming: 67%
4. New Jersey: 65%
5. Mississippi: 60%
States with the least couples remaining together due to the high cost of living separately:
46. Maryland: 22%
47. Utah: 20%
48. North Carolina: 19%
49. New Hampshire: 13%
50. Alabama: 8%
Interactive map showing results broken down across America
Created by Divorce Answers • View larger version
Other survey findings…
It seems a good credit score is a hands-down requirement for most singles when looking for a partner: more than half (55%) said they would be deterred from getting into a relationship with someone who had a large debt sum to their name.
But just how much debt is too much debt? The average single said they would be deterred by a debt amount of $33k or more…
Nearly a quarter (23%) of unemployed people said if they wanted to separate from their partner, they would wait until they were earning a salary to get a bigger potential settlement.
Additionally, 23% of people said they think any debt incurred before marriage should partly become the obligation of the ex-spouse, if the relationship ends in divorce. When it comes to credit scores, the act of getting a divorce doesn’t inherently lower this score, however, the changes in financial responsibilities may. In fact, 54% of woman and 42% of men say their credit score declined after they got divorced from their partner.
Lastly, over one-third (38%) of people said assuredly that if they wanted to separate from their partner, they could not afford to rent somewhere else to live on their own.
‘It is reassuring to know that a large portion of people could afford to live alone if the need did arise,’ said Lauren Cook-McKay of DivorceAnswers.com. ‘Being able to live alone might involve putting your current property on the market and splitting the amount received, or finding a more affordable living option for both people individually.’