Lavish weddings are becoming more common in Virginia and around the country, and a recent study from the financial services website LendingTree reveals that many couples are taking on large amounts of debt to pay for them. LendingTree hired a market research firm to ask 506 Americans between the ages of 18 and 53 who walked down the aisle within the last two years if they borrowed to pay for their wedding, and about 45% of them said that they did.
The results of the study suggest that taking on debt taken to pay for an expensive wedding can lead to marital strife later on. More than three-quarters of the respondents who took on such debt told researchers that they argued with their spouses over wedding-related bills, and almost half of them said the issue had led them to consider divorce. Only 9% of the spouses who did not take on this kind of debt felt the same way.
One in four of the respondents regretted spending excessively on their weddings, and more than a third of the newlyweds who took on wedding-related debt told researchers that they frequently argue with their spouses over money. The study also reveals that the chief causes of stress prior to getting married are family issues, money and compiling a wedding guest list.
Couples who decide to divorce often do so because of money problems, and discussions over how marital debts will be handled are often as contentious as negotiations over property division. Divorcing couples with financial problems often hope to avoid protracted and expensive court battles, which is why experienced family law attorneys may suggest alternative approaches in these situations. Collaborative divorce and mediation are less confrontational than traditional negotiations and are designed to find common ground; they may be able to produce an amicable settlement in situations where such an outcome seemed unlikely.