Getting out of debt could be the reason a marriage in California survives. Financial stress often plays a role in marital stress for many different reasons. In some cases, it’s because individuals aren’t sure how they will pay the debt off or fully understand the details of their outstanding balances. There are times when couples choose to get into debt in an effort to maintain their marriages.

However, in those situations, it’s important to take a step back to ensure that the household can afford it. It’s also worth looking at current expenses to determine if a couple is living a lifestyle that they can afford. In some cases, it may be necessary to choose between keeping up appearances and maintaining a healthy marriage. Furthermore, those who spend more than they can afford to could end up in bankruptcy court in addition to divorce court.

One way to get a handle on debt balances is to consolidate them. This means combining all balances into one monthly payment, which could also result in a lower interest rate. That generally allows a couple to repay their debts in less time. Other options include making larger payments on the lowest debt balances or focusing on the balances with the highest interest rates. These are referred to as the snowball and avalanche systems.

The amount of debt a person has may influence his or her ability to make alimony payments after a divorce. It could also have an impact on how much child support or other assistance a noncustodial parent might be able to provide to a custodial parent. An individual could work with an attorney or financial planner to create a plan that handles the division of joint debt as part of a divorce settlement.