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Study finds wedding debt causes marital strain for some

Some Illinois couples may be among those who said in a LendingTree study that they regretted spending as much money as they did on their wedding. The survey was conducted among people who were aged 18 to 53 and who had gotten married within the past two years. Nearly half said their wedding had put them into debt.

More than three-fourths of those who had wedding debt said they argued about wedding costs with their spouse while just 20% of those who were not in debt said they did. Fewer than 10% of the couples who did not accumulate wedding debt said they had considered getting a divorce because of money issues while almost half of those with wedding debt said they was the case. More than two-thirds of couples who had debt from their wedding said they argued often about money compared to less than 10% of those who did not have any wedding debt. One-quarter of couples surveyed said they wished they had spent less on their wedding.

Over one-quarter said money was the most stressful aspect of the wedding. Nearly one-third said family caused the most stress. The guest list was the main stressor for 17%.

As this study demonstrates, money can be a major factor in marital conflict and eventually in divorce. When this happens, that conflict may carry over into divorce negotiations about property division. If the couple is in debt because of the wedding or for other reasons, they may need to split this debt as part of the divorce agreement. However, if the debt is just in the name of one person, that may be the only person that creditors pursue. To offset this, one person may want to take more assets than the other, or it might be possible to put the debt into both names.

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