It comes as no surprise to learn that experiencing a foreclosure is one of the top ten stressors in life. In a marriage, foreclosure can rank among the top three stressors that cause strain on the relationship. Unfortunately, a new link has been discovered suggesting that the foreclosure rate and divorce rate do have some ties together.
The question has been asked, does foreclosure increase the likelihood of a divorce, or does divorce increase the risk of foreclosure? The answer seems to be that either of these scenarios could be true in the state of Nevada, as Nevada holds one of the highest foreclosure rates and the highest divorce rate in the country.
First, foreclosures create a quick sense of instability and financial distress, two issues that are highly correlated with marital problems. Depending on the state of finances of the couple prior to foreclosure, the foreclosure proceeding could simply be the final straw in a long battle of monetary disagreements. Having to move out of one’s home, find new housing and the long term credit damage are all factors that can significantly increase the tension in any household. While one cannot say that foreclosure causes divorce, it safe to say that a foreclosure increases stress in the relationship that could lead to a divorce if the relationship was already unsettled.
Also, divorce creates immediate and longer lasting money problems. When a couple divorces, they must split up their property and learn to live on a single income. When alimony or child support become involved, the financial pressure increases for the spouse responsible for paying. In many cases, the spouse left with the home in the divorce experiencing an increased burden of maintaining a high mortgage payment. With the market in turmoil, many divorcees are finding themselves in underwater mortgages or in need of a loan modification. The problem is that after a divorce the lowered income may disqualify the spouse from obtaining help with the mortgage debt, increasing their chances at foreclosure.