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Prenups can protect against student loans in property division

Money issues are one of the top causes of stress for the average couple in Louisiana. While financial troubles can cover a wide range of topics, student loans in particular can be especially problematic. Not only can these massive loans be a contributing factor in divorce, they can also present some serious property distribution issues.

Nationwide, student loan debt stands at a record high of $1.5 trillion. For the average person that comes out to about $34,144, which is 62 percent higher than it was just 10 years ago. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the number of student loan debtors who owe more than $50,000 tripled over the same decade.

So why is this so problematic for marriage? Unlike other types of debts — such as mortgages, auto loans and credit card debt — which is usually accumulated over longer periods of time, young couples typically begin their marriages with student loan debt. This initial burden can prevent couples from making important life steps, such as buying a home, traveling or starting a family.

Marrying someone who has tens of thousands of dollars in loans can be risky — one person could spend years paying off their spouse’s loan only to divorce. However, prenuptial agreements can address this worry. By outlining that money used to repay a student loan during the course of the marriage will be credited back with marital assets during property distribution, Louisiana couples can feel more confident about their decision to marry even if one party has a significant amount of student loans. Since family law can be complicated, it is best not to sign anything until an experienced party has reviewed the agreement.

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