Marital debt should never keep you from staying in an unhappy or abusive marriage. Financial stability is important, but divorce tends to play a significant role in jeopardizing financial futures regardless of wealth.
Though the ideal solution is to pay off all debt before getting out of your marriage, there are three things you can do to address both individual and joint debt.
1. Debt settlement
In spite of who is responsible for incurring the debt, any financial arrangements and debts made during a marriage are typically divided between spouses if both names are on the account. Even if one person did the spending, the other, as a co-signor, can be responsible for the debt. Once the court decides who must pay what, you could pursue a debt settlement to negotiate better terms or a reduction in what you owe.
2. Debt consolidation
If you are responsible for several different debt accounts after the divorce is final, you could pursue a debt consolidation program to help alleviate some of the stress this can cause. Depending on the program, you could receive better a better interest rate from a consolidation company, one monthly payment and help with negotiating with creditors.
Though not ideal, it is possible to declare bankruptcy following the assignment of your debt responsibilities. It is best to pursue this route in conjunction with legal counsel.
Any of these options are available both prior to or after a divorce decree is final. Choose what best fits your financial situation at the time.