Student loan debt can be a factor in divorce

| Aug 7, 2018 | family law, Firm News

Young people in Kentucky are often dealing with mounting student debt and lengthy repayment periods. On average, student loan borrowers around the country have an outstanding balance of $34,144, and for people who graduated college as part of the class of 2017, they had an average debt burden of $39,400. Statistics show that the number of people who owe $50,000 or more has tripled in the past 10 years. Large student loan bills can place an extreme amount of psychological pressure on a borrower, and financial issues can already be some of the most difficult issues that a relationship can face.

Many millennials have postponed marriage because of their debt, including student loan debt. Only 22 percent of people of their generation say that they are free of debt. For people who have chosen to marry, stress over finances can lead to marital trouble and even the end of a marriage. In one study, 33 percent of divorced student loan borrowers attributed the end of their marriages to financial issues, and another 13 percent specifically said that their divorces were caused by student loan debt and the difficulties and stress that resulted from it.

Among student loan borrowers in another survey, 43 percent reported fighting about money with their partners. Money disputes can be reflected in other important marital issues as well. People may postpone purchasing a home or having children due to concerns about paying off their debts. Reports indicate that over 40 percent of millennials have delayed buying a home because of their student loans and other debts.

Disagreements about how to handle finances, spend money and save for the future can reveal irreconcilable differences in a marriage. A divorce attorney can help a client divorcing spouse protect assets and achieve a fair settlement on key issues including alimony and property division.