Are you facing significant debt? Maybe it’s been going on for a while, as you build up more and more credit card debt. Maybe you just had an emergency medical procedure, without insurance, and all this debt is sudden and new.

No matter what your debt looks like, one thing you should be aware of is that it’s a major contributor to American divorce cases.

One way that this happens is when one person is debt-free, but the other is not. For instance, perhaps your spouse has a problem with online gambling. They have maxed out your credit cards. You work hard to stay under budget every month, depriving yourself of the things you love and just paying for the essentials, but they keep spending the money.

Yes, if that’s a joint credit card account, you’re not technically debt-free. You agreed to pay whatever was on that account. But that’s just the problem. Your spending habits are so wildly different that you feel like you shouldn’t have any debt at all. The financial problems that your family is now facing stem from your spouse alone. That could be enough to drive a wedge between the two of you, especially if you have arguments about it, and your spouse refuses to change. How long are you really going to stay in a relationship like that?

If you do decide that you have to get divorced to put an end to this cycle of debt, that asset division process can get complicated. Be sure you know what options you have.