Bastarrika, Soto, Gonzalez & Somohano, L.L.P.

Study shows student loan debt increases chance of divorce

Most married couples in New Jersey would readily admit that there are many things that can create stress and conflict in a marriage. However, a recent study shows that one stressor could potentially increase the chances that a couple will divorce -- debt. Specifically, student loan debt could be a major factor for many couples.

Some claim that one of the biggest stressors married couples must face deals with finances. Approximately a third of respondents to a recent study indicated that debt played a role in their divorce as debt makes it difficult to save for a home or make other plans for the future. Just over 12% specifically claimed that student loan debt was a factor.

This information may not be particularly surprising to those familiar with the increases that have occurred in student loan debt in the last decade. For example, the average balance is $34,000, representing a 62% increase. Additionally, the number of people carrying debt over $50,000 has also increased significantly.

There are some preventative measures that could potentially protect a marriage from the effects of debt. For example, it is important for both parties to be honest about their financial situation, including both debts and assets. Some couples in New Jersey even choose to create a prenuptial agreement that determine how debt will be treated in the event of a divorce. For example, a provision could be included indicating that any money a spouse pays toward the others student loan debt will be repaid in the event the relationship comes to an end.

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