The cost of living crisis is affecting all of us. However, with energy bills and household costs set to break more records, the total financial impact of the cost of living crisis is yet to be seen. During the recession, those who lived around the poverty line were exponentially more likely to suffer a relationship breakdown.
Many married couples are choosing separation due to stress over financial uncertainty, but they can’t afford to get a divorce. Due to the rising costs of utility bills, interest rates, rents and mortgages, it may not be realistic for some couples to create two households from one. In addition, people may find it challenging to pay household costs without the financial support of their ex-partner.
Couples who choose to divorce may find it more challenging to agree on divorce settlements and will have to consider maintenance payments. Child maintenance is a legal requirement and must be paid to the parent who primarily raises the child. Spousal maintenance may also be paid if the recipient is entitled. Maintenance payments may be affected by the rising cost of living if the partner paying cannot afford it or cannot increase the amount to keep up with the rising cost of living. It is possible to appeal to the court to adjust the terms of a financial settlement. Still, it is unusual for the court to agree to these changes.
Some people have chosen to keep their desire to break up to themselves since divorce or separation is financially challenging. Unfortunately, in some cases, divorce can leave one partner more economically vulnerable than the other. With this in mind, it is challenging to begin the discussion and reach a fair agreement about ending a relationship.
Couples can try mediation as an alternative to resolving these types of disputes. Mediation allows for all parties involved to take a step back from what can be a very emotionally charged issue and view it objectively.
There is a darker side to how the cost of living crisis could affect relationships. Money issues within marriages can lead to power plays from the person who is the higher earner. Perhaps one partner has a paid job, and the other doesn’t, or one earns considerably more than the other. The higher earner may feel that as the one that contributes more to the household, they should dictate how the money is spent, but this attitude can lead to resentment.
The cost of living crisis hugely negatively affects marriages and contributes to these relationships breaking down. Things will hopefully improve in the future, but no one knows what the final impact of the crisis will be or how long it will take to recover.