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Student loan debt can be the root of a divorce, study says

Getting a college degree is a dream for many in Colorado, but it comes with a price -- specifically, student loan debt. The student loan debt crisis has made the news recently, as more college graduates find themselves burdened with high student loan payments that prevent them from reaching their financial goals. And, if they are married, disagreements about how to pay back student loans can cause a rift between spouses that they may not be able to overcome.

A recent study reports that one-third of borrowers who participated in the study cited money disagreements as the reason behind their divorce. One in eight participants stated that student loan debt was behind their decision to end their marriage.

This may be because student loan debt is often quite large, with the average debt being $34,000. This is a 62% increase over the past 10 years. Moreover, within the past 10 years, the number of borrowers with more than $50,000 in student loan debt increased three-fold.

Therefore, it is important for borrowers getting ready to head down the aisle to have an honest conversation with their partner about how their student loan debts will be repaid. Some people will choose to execute a prenuptial agreement that states that if one spouse makes payments on their partner's student loan debt, these payments will be credited back to them should their marriage end. And, for couples who are already married, a postnuptial agreement can be executed that contains a similar clause.

When a person carries a high debt load, it can be very stressful. While some couples, through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, lay out how they will handle debt during their marriage and what will happen to these debts if they divorce. This doesn't erase the fact that money problems are often the root of a divorce. When a couple simply cannot continue being married, divorce may be in the best interests of all involved.

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