No Wonder Student Loan Debt Can Make People Want to Divorce…
According to a recent study by SunTrust Bank and highlighted by CNBC, finances are the leading cause of stress in relationships, and student debt, in particular, is causing one in eight divorces. Further, more than a third of student loan borrowers said that college loans contribute to their divorce, and 13 percent of divorcees blame their student loans, specifically, for ending their relationships.
Student loan debt now stands at an all-time high of $1.5 trillion, where the average outstanding balance is more than $34,000 per person—an increase of 62 percent—and the percentage of borrowers who owe $50,000 or more has tripled—all just within the last decade.
The Elephant in the Room
These statistics are disheartening. It’s easy to understand how student debt levels like these can cause stress between a married couple and lead individuals to want to divorce so that they aren’t stuck with someone else’s student debt. This can be especially tough if student debt is holding a couple back from having children or buying a home.
What can sometimes help address this issue is entering into a pre- or post-nuptial agreement specifying that any marital funds put towards debt would serve as credit back off the top of marital assets. These types of agreements can not only safeguard individual assets such as investments, real estate, and retirement accounts, but also one person’s credit card and/or student loan debt. That way, if the couple divorces, the individual who helped pay off the other person’s debt can be reimbursed.
If You Have Student Loan Debt, Here Are Some Money-Saving Tips for Your Divorce
Student Loan Hero recently published a very useful guide on how to make paying for your divorce easier if you have an overwhelming amount of student loans. Some of those tips include:
- Opting for an uncontested divorce, whereby you and your spouse agree on key issues such as custody and property division in an effort to avoid litigating over these issues in court;
- Minimizing court appearances: the more issues with which you can compromise, the less time you spend in court, and the more you save on attorney’s and travel fees;
- Avoiding needless fighting: using your divorce to punish your spouse will likely only draw out the proceedings and cost you more;
- Considering mediation: remember that you can still work with your attorney to ensure that you go into any negotiations equipped to protect yourself, even with mediation;
- Talking to your attorney about unbundled services so that you can prioritize their time spent working on your case; and
- When you hire your attorney, making sure you ask about whether the attorney works with any associates or paralegals who could help work on your case at a lower rate to keep costs down.
Contact Our Florida Family Law Attorneys to Learn More
If you need assistance with a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, or your divorce, contact our experienced Florida divorce attorneys at Trachman & Ballot-Lena, P.A. today. We have decades of experience helping clients in Broward County and surrounding areas move forward with the support they need.