Many people have student debt here in the United States. Reportedly, there is currently around $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the nation. The average outstanding student loan balance is estimated to be over $34,000. So, it is not uncommon for couples to enter marriage with one spouse or both spouses carrying a fair amount in student loans.
A recent survey indicates it is also not uncommon for the financial stress of such debt to be a factor to divorces. The survey, by Student Loan Hero, was of over 800 divorced individuals. Around 13 percent of the respondents cited student loan debt as a factor in their divorce.
High financial stress can put a marriage on the path towards divorce, and student debt (and the issues connected to paying such debt) can be a source of stress and conflict among married couples. So, when a marriage is getting started off, a couple may want to take a close look at how much student loan debt each spouse has and what can be done to prevent such debt from being a point of tension in the future. Also, couples may want to consider addressing student debt in a prenuptial agreement prior to tying the knot.
Student loan debt can also be an important issue once a couple decides to get a divorce. For one, how debt will be divided between the spouses is one of the important financial matters divorces typically involve. Also, how much debt a person has can impact what his or her priorities would be when it comes to other divorce issues, such as property division and alimony. So, what impacts debt issues, such as those related to student loan debt, would likely have in their divorce is among the topics divorcing individuals may want to promptly seek out legal guidance on.