til debt do us part top 5 states where couples who want to separate stay together due to rising costs
Culture

‘Til debt do us part: Top 5 states where couples who want to separate stay together due to rising costs

divorce
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While money isn’t everything when it comes to a happy home life, it turns out that some marriages are held together because of the expense of living alone – and the costs associated with a divorce.

High inflation rates have increased the overall cost of living individually, and money matters could be the only reason some married couples stay together.

DivorceAnswers.com surveyed more than 3,000 couples to determine how many relationships are not being held together by love but by a higher cost of living.

It seems the cost of separation outweighs the desire to live independently for many coupled. In 2021, the average yearly expense of living alone was around $38,266, or $3,189 per month.

“Living separately comprises two different housing payments; grocery and household bills; utilities; and internet payments, on top of entertainment streaming subscriptions like Netflix, and in addition to larger items like furniture and kitchen appliances,” said Kris Lippi, of ISoldMyHouse.com, in a news release.

Broken down across states, this figure was highest in Montana, where 75 percent of people who want to separate said soaring inflation resulting in a higher cost of living prevents them from doing so. Comparatively, this figure was lowest in Alabama (8 percent).

This survey determined that overall, 40 percent of Virginia couples who want to separate said their financial situation – exacerbated by factors like the higher cost of solo living and increasing debt – prevents them from doing so. This compares to a national average of 38 percent.

States with the most couples remaining together due to the high cost of living separately:

  • Montana: 75 percent
  • Nebraska: 71 percent
  • Wyoming: 67 percent
  • New Jersey: 65 percent
  • Mississippi: 60 percent

States with the least couples remaining together due to the high cost of living separately:

  • Maryland: 22 percent
  • Utah: 20 percent
  • North Carolina: 19 percent
  • New Hampshire: 13 percent
  • Alabama: 8 percent

Other survey findings included:

  • More than half (55 percent) said they would be deterred from getting into a relationship with someone who had a large debt sum to their name
  • The average single said they would be deterred by a debt amount of $33,000 or more
  • Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of unemployed people said if they wanted to separate from their partner, they would wait until they were earning a salary to get a bigger potential settlement
  • 23 percent of people said they think any debt incurred before marriage should partly become the obligation of the ex-spouse, if the relationship ends in divorce
  • Over one-third (38 percent) of people said assuredly that if they wanted to separate from their partner, they could not afford to rent somewhere else to live on their own

To view the full map, visit divorceanswers.com

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.