When it comes to marital breakdown and financial difficulty, it‘s the old chicken and the egg story. Without a doubt, financial difficulty resulting from excessive debt levels can put stress on a relationship ultimately resulting in the dissolution of a marriage. On the other hand, when a marriage dissolves, financial difficulties often develop as there are now two separate households to support with no change to the overall income. In either scenario, help from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is advisable.

Most people are not aware of the fact that there is legislation that allows debtors to make an offer to their creditors, tailored to their specific circumstances, which can result in a significant reduction in the amount of debt required to be repaid. Known as a consumer proposal, it’s an interest free payment plan that may be as little as thirty percent of the total amount owed and the payment is typically spread out over a five year period. Filing a consumer proposal in the face of, or after marital breakdown can give the separating parties peace of mind. With marital breakdown comes a lot of change. Managing children between two households, emotional stress due to the breakdown, and learning to budget on a single income, are just a few things. When these pressures are coupled with debt repayment, it can be overwhelming. Setting up a consumer proposal that deals with all of the creditors in one fixed payment will make it easier to set a fixed budget to deal with the regular day to day expenses in running the new single income household. And, since payments will be greatly reduced from the current minimum monthly payments, the ability to manage and budget your household affairs will be greatly increased.

By Melanie Wengle

Licensed Insolvency Trustee

Melanie is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, a Lawyer and a Partner with A. Farber & Partners Inc., a firm that has helped people resolve their financial difficulties for over 35 years. See Melanie’s profile at http://divorceangels.ca/vendor/melanie-wengle/?r=3263

2 Responses to “The Impact of Debt on Your Marriage and Family”

  1. Miriam

    I am just wondering why this article fails to mention the adverse effect of this type of proposal on one’s credit or ability to obtain credit. My understanding is that filing such a proposal would have the same effect as declaring bankruptcy.

  2. Tatiana Terekhova, Divorce Financial Analyst, CFP, CDFA, RRC

    Miriam, you are right!
    Consumer proposal will downgrade your rating to R7, where bankruptcy will do so to R9. When I was working for CIBC, both ratings were equally bad. My understanding that R7 is a solution for professionals (accountants, financial advisors, etc.) whose credit is under the regular surveillance. For them having R7 is the matter of keeping their job and reputation.

    The good news that bad credit rating will eventually restores itself (7 years or so) and for many people it’s a better solution as they would never pay their debts off.


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