Financial problems have never been romantic, and the high levels of student loan debt held by people in California appear to be straining marriages. A website service that helps users manage education debt conducted a study and found that 13% of respondents specifically cited student loans as the reason that they got divorced.

In the last 10 years, student loan debts have gone up by 62%. The average amount owed by people for schooling today equals $34,144. The number of people borrowing excessive amounts of $50,000 or more has tripled as well. Reliance on loans for school is the result of tuition costs increasing at a substantially higher rate than inflation since 1983.

Another survey of over 1,000 student loan recipients determined that 43% of spouses acknowledged that they sometimes fight about money. Concerns about what a partner will think about debt motivated 24% of respondents to hide their student loans from their partners.

Student loan debts contribute to stress because the financial pressure may prevent couples from advancing with their lives. Many people have set aside their desire to buy a home because their debts consume their income.

Although financial hardship can undermine a relationship, divorce does not erase money problems. A person who wants to end a marriage may learn from an attorney how family law directs the division of marital property and debts. Legal guidance may prepare a person to negotiate a divorce settlement and avoid signing an agreement that imposes unfair terms. An attorney might suggest strategies for resolving problems as the splitting spouses strive to come to terms. If litigation becomes necessary, then an attorney may be able to defend the client’s position in court.

Source: Yahoo Finance, “Marriages are crumbling under student loan debt“, Katie Krzaczek, July 31, 2019