The perfect story – boy meets girl, you fall in love and move in together… In some cases your ‘partnership’ develops into a ‘wedlock’ (wed-LOCK *wink wink nudge nudge*). BUT have you ever considered the possibility of an unfortunate breakup and unhappy ending? What financial implications are you left to deal with when years of union suddenly dissolves?
Matthys Potgieter, spokesperson and debt expert at DebtSafe, says whatever the arrangements you have with your partner, when the relationship ends, your financial agreements go along with it. You shared financial burdens like the rent or a bond repayment, you took out a loan to furnish your love-filled nest and you shared other bills like the electricity, water and groceries. So now you are left with more financial obligations than you are used to and, your budget is left in a complete mess where you have more month at the end of your money. What are you to do now with this so called SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DEBT (STD)?
Potgieter says it is not as easy as 1, 2, 3 to get rid of your financial STD, but there are a few options to consider:
- Accept the clean break principle and scale down – simplicity is key.
- Speak to someone you can trust and get your finances sorted out.
- With a bit of luck – you have not signed surety for your ex-partner, if you have – go and see your attorney to arrange indemnification.
- Take liability for the fixed living expenses and restructure your credit agreements. If you have to return assets – do it. Sell it (with the knowledge of the creditor of course) and repay the creditor as soon as possible.
- In case you accumulated unsecured debt to sustain the lovers nest – consider consolidating your debt through debt counselling. It is known as THE safer way out of debt.
- Your main objective now should be to consolidate and minimise your debt obligations. Know this: with less luggage, your new chapter is a much better one that will also lighten your mood.
Don’t get stuck in the past, you are better off without your former partner. There is a reason why you should call him / her your ‘ex’. Give yourself some time to reflect, and accept that life goes on. It is time that you start embracing your new life with a few lessons learnt. Experience is the key to get your finances back on track again.