Category Archives: Debt and Marital Breakdown

How to Help Your Clients Face the Financial Problems that Come with Divorce

Debt and financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce in Canada, and all too often debt and divorce go hand in hand.  If your clients are in the midst of a divorce, providing them with information about how to deal with the financial repercussions can be very important.

There are several things that a financial professional can help with, including:

–          Learning how to manage a budget: figuring out how to best prepare for life on one income. Budgeting also plays a key role in ensuring that all payments to creditors get made on time each month.

–          Dealing with the debt that already exists and being able to manage the monthly payments in order to keep credit in check. This may involve helping choose a solution to getting rid of the debt altogether.

–          Working with your client to consolidate that debt or file a consumer proposal to reduce monthly payments and keep credit payments from being neglected.

The best advice you can give to your clients to deal with the aftermath of a divorce and the debt that has resulted from it is to seek financial guidance from a financial professional who can represent them in the restructuring of their debt.

Being able to provide your clients with the support that they need is important, and if they are going through a divorce, this so often includes financial information.  If you have clients that are dealing with divorce debt, please reach out to me. I can be reached at 416-907-2582 ext 2587, or by email at kgoldenberg@debtcare.ca.

When People Divorce Credit Card Debt Can Become Difficult to Manage

When people divorce many different financial problems can emerge. Both spouses will find themselves dealing with their finances on a single income. If one spouse wasn’t previously managing the household finances, she will now have to learn how to manage bills. Individuals may find it difficult to manage debt, such as credit card debt, on their own. One spouse may end up with the responsibility of paying the marital credit card debt on his own.

Divorce is one of the leading causes of bankruptcies and consumer proposals in Canada. Those who don’t end up in bankruptcy or in a consumer proposal still may be struggling with debt and may have damaged their credit as a result.

If you help people who are going through a divorce, a conversation about their debt and how they are managing their finances should take place. Even if you don’t deal with the financial aspects of a divorce it is important to know if your client is struggling with divorce related financial problems because your client’s financial problems could be fuelling mental health issues, damaging her quality of life,  disrupting his  employment or ability to gain employment and more.

Helping your client address her financial problems could be the key to a fresh start after a divorce. At DebtCare Canada we are committed to education in this regard. Check out the article we released last month “How to Make a Credit Card Debt Settlement” and feel free to share it with any clients you feel may find it helpful. http://www.debtcare.ca/articles/how-to-make-a-credit-card-debt-settlement/

Also, if you help people who are going through a divorce we can help you to help them address financial problems. Please reach out and I can send you more information about our WeCare Canada initiative and also about a new program for recently divorced individuals, “Budgeting in Transition.” I can be reached at 416-907-2582 ext 2587, by email at kgoldenberg@debtcare.ca and you can find more information about our business to business services at www.debtcareservices.ca

Supporting Clients and Patients with Divorce Debt

Canada has the 8th highest divorce rate in the world. Human Resources Development Canada has reported that the proportion of marriages expected to end in divorce has fluctuated between 35% and 42% in recent years. In 2008, 40.7% of marriages were expected to end in divorce before the 30th wedding anniversary. In 2008, there were 70,226 divorces in Canada or 2.11 divorces per 1,000 people.

Divorce debt in Canada is also very common. Human Resources Development Canada also reported that in 2008, 115,789 Canadians were unable to repay their debts. Serious financial difficulties brought them to file either a consumer proposal or a bankruptcy. Individuals who were divorced or separated were more likely to file a proposal or bankruptcy.

Why is divorce debt one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in Canada? The answer is fairly simple. First, two income households will often accumulate debt based on their “household ability to pay the debt”. The challenge with this is that debt is accumulated based on two people sharing living expenses and when people separate, living expenses will double because now each party has to pay for rent or a mortgage and living expenses separately. When household debt is present this can make it challenging to pay it.

Second, some marriages will involve one person working and one person raising the family. When divorce occurs, the party who hasn’t worked will likely have little to no income but be faced with the immediate expense of having to hire a lawyer and also live. In many cases this forces the party who has been home raising the family back into the workforce. Individuals who have been out of the workforce for a long time often have to re-enter it in junior or entry level positions.

Third, sometimes one party in a marriage may carry all of the debt in his or her name. Much of the debt may have been used by the other spouse. There is nothing worse than getting a divorce and then finding yourself having to pay your spouse’s debt.

Legal protections may result in the party who has the weaker financial positioning receiving support payments, being awarded the house, having the other party take responsibility for the debt, but this can take years. Also, the legal fees that compound over the course of a divorce may end up being more than the debt that was owed to begin with.

We work with marriage counselors, family therapists and even family lawyers to help their clients come up with post-divorce financial strategies.

If you have a client who needs help or if you would like to host a WeCare day where we can come out and speak with your clients/members about coping with the financial aftermath of a divorce, please email me at kgoldenberg@debtcare.ca, call 416-907-2582 ext 2587 or visit www.debtcareservices.ca.

Gambling Debt in Canada

Gambling debt in Canada is an epidemic not unlike the flu. Addiction is an illness and gambling is something that is highly addictive. Casinos are more accessible than ever in Canada and what can begin as harmless entertainment can quickly turn into a serious life-altering addiction.

Many people realize that they have a problem when gambling habits lead to disruption in major parts of their lives. Financially, problem gambling can lead to a loss of income, potential loss of assets, lowered standard of living, or even a loss of employment. Personally, problem gambling can cause conflict with loved ones, and can lead to alienation from family and friends.

CTV News recently reported on a study from Statistics Canada that showed that wealthier people, on average, spend more money on wagering, but gamblers who have less money spend a larger percentage of their income on gaming activities.

According to the CTV report, Statistics Canada says that 6.3 percent of people are thought to be “at risk gamblers and problem gamblers.” Problem gamblers make up 0.6 percent of the Canadian population which is roughly 180,000 people. The Statistics Canada definition of a problem gambler is someone who has experienced negative consequences of gaming and who gambles more than five times a year.

If you work with people who are problem gamblers resulting in financial ruin, help them stand up against it!

There are many financial programs available that help gamblers who are dealing with a gambling debt in Canada and access to these programs is available through DebtCare.

You can host a WeCare day and make a difference. We will come out to your facility and speak with your clients about the financial consequences associated with gambling and how they can deal with them if they have occurred.

If you would like to host a WeCare day, please contact me by emailing kgoldenberg@debtcare.ca, call me at 416-907-2582 ext 2587 or visit www.debtcareservices.ca.

Financial Infidelity

I was recently talking to a family lawyer who told me that she frequently saw situations where marriages were dissolving because people were in financial difficulty and did not share the problem with their spouse.

A double edged sword, mismanaged debt can cause marriage breakdown and marriage breakdown  can cause further financial stress.

Tackling the problem head on is critical to save the marriage  or avoid further disaster. Your debt goes with you so taking action can save you from repeating the problem

For more information on how to get help, call 1-888-890-0888 ext. 2587 or visit www.debtcare.ca.