According to a recent survey, borrowers with student loans have been found to take on more debt, are more likely to divorce, and that just holding student loans can be a contributing factor in some divorces.
Money problems are usually an indicator of divorce. Since student debt can constitute a major financial strain, it can impact a marriage. This new survey underscores the importance of minimizing your debt.
The survey showed that:
- The average Class of 2017 graduate walked away with a diploma and $39,400 in debt; and
- The 2017 graduate’s debt represents a 6% increase from the previous year; and
- Americans owe $1.48 trillion in loans.
It’s clearly taking a toll – not just on finances – but on marriages. This new survey reveals that these loans could increase your likelihood of getting divorced. According to a new study, 58% of divorcees with student loans took on debt to help pay for attorney fees and other related costs during their divorce proceedings. Compare that with 48% percent of all divorcees who borrowed money to pay for a divorce.
Couples with student loan debt are more likely to delay divorce because of cost. More than a third of respondents with student loans (35%) delayed their divorce because they couldn’t afford it, compared with 24% of couples without student debt.
Florida Divorce and Student Loans
I’ve written about equitable distribution and divorce debt before. While the initial premise behind an equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities is equal distribution, if there is a proper justification, a family court judge may make an unequal distribution.
As a general proposition, student loans incurred during the marriage are marital debts. And, unless there is a proper justification supporting an unequal distribution of student loans, they must be equitably distributed between the parties.
Sometimes people argue that a spouse won’t receive any benefit from the other spouse’s law school or medical school degree. However, the benefit of an education is not considered a factor the court should consider when allocating a marital debt for student loans.
Survey Says . . .
The survey also had some other sobering results:
- 13% of respondents who had student loan debt going into their marriage claim that it eventually led to the end of their marriage.
- Almost 7 in 10 divorcees have changed how they manage their money after their divorce.
- 36% of borrowers with student loan report they lied to a partner about money.
- Roughly one third respondents claimed a decreased sex drive because of their student loans.
Large debts and monthly payments can make it difficult to buy a home, save for retirement, or make it from paycheck to paycheck. Worse still, you’re probably stuck with your student loan whether you can afford it or not.
The Survey is here.