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Due to financial struggles brought on by marital struggles—or perhaps it was the other way around—, the family had to forsake it as the bank foreclosed on it.

I normally wouldn't place a comma, but had the statement between the dashes been missing like so—

Due to financial struggles brought on by marital struggles,the family had to forsake it as the bank foreclosed on it.

...then there would be a comma.

Thanks for the help, lads and lasses.

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You definitely do not need a comma in addition to the em dash because the em dash itself is a harder break than the comma would be. Think of the em dash as a comma on steroids; a comma produces a break, while an em dash produces a harder break.

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The sense of an introductory phrase is lost without the comma; however, a comma is simply wrong after an em dash.

I typically address this by using parentheses for nonessential information, thereby enabling the comma to be retained:

Due to financial struggles brought on by marital struggles (or perhaps it was the other way around), the family had to forsake it as the bank foreclosed on it.

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