Is Your Debt Destroying Your Marriage?

by John Skiba
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Debt and divorce in Arizona

The #1 thing married couples fight about is money.  In fact, in a recent study conducted by Money Magazine, 70% of married couples argue about finances – more than household chores, togetherness, sex, snoring, and what’s for dinner.

And this makes sense.  Money is the lifeblood of the household.  I joke with my wife that often I feel like one of those guys shoveling coal into an old time steam engine – got to keep shoveling money into the machine or it will come to a sudden, painful, stop.

If you are in a situation where you are struggling to make ends meet (i.e. actually struggling to pay the groceries), or know that feeling of panic that comes when you aren’t sure how you are going to have enough gas to get to work in the coming week.

Debt Diverts Focus From Family 

Back when I was doing my undergraduate studies I minored in Psychology.  The one thing I remember from my minor is Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs.  Basically, this theory is that if our base needs aren’t being met (i.e. food, water, sleep, employment) that we won’t be able to focus or put much energy into higher needs like family, relationships, and morality.

Maslow's pyramid of needs debt Arizona

If you are spending all of your energy trying to figure out how to meed the basic needs of your family it is difficult, or maybe even feel a little ridiculous, for you to put much time into building relationships or even things like hobbies.  Ironically, this likely leads to even more stress because you may feel guilty about not putting enough effort into your family relationships.

Find a Solution to Your Debt Problem

Financial problems are rarely easy to solve.  But you do have options.  Often when I meet with families in my office I will share with them two or three options on how to deal with their debt – fully realizing that what I asking my clients to do is pick the least painful option.

While all solutions to your debt problem may involve some pain, they are nonetheless solutions.  For some it means fighting back against a debt collection lawsuit; for others it means pulling the trigger and filing for bankruptcy; and for others it means putting an end to abusive debt collection and filing an FDCPA law suit.

Don’t Take Abuse From Debt Collectors

Trying to keep the power on is stressful enough.  Having to deal with abusive debt collectors is simply piling on.  When congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) on of the main reasons it did was to protect marriages.

It may seem like an odd reason to pass a consumer protection law but congress understood that if you don’t reel in abusive debt collectors that it can push some families to the breaking point.

You don’t have to take the harassment.  The FDCPA levels the playing field and allows you to fight back.

You don’t have to spend all of your energy worrying and stressing out about your debt problems.  But you do have to act.  There is no magic bullet that will solve all of your debt problems, but by taking action you can take that first step to get you back on track and allow you to focus on the more important things.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© John Skiba, Arizona Consumer Law Group, PLC | Attorney Advertising

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