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Student loan debt creates more stress that could lead to divorce

There are many stresses that can eventually erode a marriage. According to financial professionals, debt plays a significant role when couples choose to file for a divorce. Colorado residents who are considering filing for a dissolution may worry about how accumulated debt can adversely affect their future finances.

According to a recent study published by SunTrust Bank, stress over finances contributed to the numbers of divorces. An estimated 33 percent of divorced participants stated that debt played a major role in their decision to end a marriage. Approximately one divorce out of every eight resulted from the pressures exerted by mounting student loan debt. That amount has increased approximately 62 percent over the past 10 years and currently stands at an average of $34,140 per loan.

Along with the rising average outstanding loan balances, the number of borrowers who owe in excess of $50,000 has nearly tripled over the same period of time. This debt can create undue stress on married couples. Those struggling with significant debt are often unable to afford a home or start a family. Furthermore, working to pay down a spouse's debt may leave one financially vulnerable in the event that a marriage ends in divorce.

Financial planners recommend that couples sign a prenuptial agreement that stipulates that any marital assets that were used to pay down student debt for one spouse would become reimbursable if the couple later divorce. Due to the fact that there is currently an estimated $1.5 trillion outstanding on education loans, having the protection afforded by a marital agreement may provide peace of mind to the partner helping to shoulder the burden of a spouse's debt. Colorado residents who are intending to file for a divorce may seek the advice of a family law professional in order to pursue the best settlement for their unique needs.  

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