Madison (WKOW) -- How to handle the checkbook can be tough enough on marriages, but doing it during tough financial times may just be the breaking point.
"To a very unfortunate extent, people sometimes judge their personal value, their personal worth, by how much they earn, or perhaps by how much they have," said Madison lawyer Richard Jacobson.
Jacobson said he's not surprised divorce rates are spiking, especially with an economy in the tank.
Sept. '07 Sept. '08 % increase
Rock 42 54 28%
Sauk 19 26 37%
Green 5 8 60%
Richland 5 5 0%
Columbia 10 24 140%
Dane 100 127 27%
Iowa 6 7 17%
Experts say in times of financial turmoil, couples feel embarrassed, nervous, and stressed when the bills pile up.
"You're ashamed to show it to the spouse, who may think you're less of a man, or less of a person," said Jacobson. "They've spent a lot of needless money on a lot of foolish things, and they can't pay for it. And everybody starts blaming everybody else."