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A Family Law Attorney Can Help Keep Student Debt from Ruining Your Marriage


What determines when a person is mature enough to consider marriage?  Most people would cite financial independence as a prerequisite for marriage readiness, but in today’s economy, the meaning of financial dependence is changing.  While some people value the multigenerational household, lots of people in their 20s and 30s would balk at the idea of moving into their spouse’s parents’ house.  Despite this, an increasing number of young adults live with their parents, even if both generations work full-time.  Other young adults with professional jobs live with housemates.  The reason for many of these apparently marriage-unfriendly living arrangements is that many university graduates, including those with postgraduate degrees, begin their professional degrees under the shadow of tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.  Like it or not, making payments on your student loans until you reach middle age is the new normal.  Some educated young adults see this as a reason to delay marriage or avoid it altogether, but others turn to prenuptial agreements as a way for couples to deal with student debt.

The New Generation Prefers Separate Finances

According to a recent survey by Credit Karma, many unmarried people in their 20s and 30s would hesitate to marry someone with a lot of debt.  Almost two thirds of respondents said that a partner’s debt would make them less likely to marry that person.  Some of them said that they consider credit card debt a stronger indicator of lack of financial responsibility than student debt, but six percent say that student loan debt reflects more negatively on a partner’s character than credit card debt.  Half of respondents said that, because of their own debt obligations, mostly in the form of student loans, they do not feel ready to get married.  Even when they do get married, young people prefer not to merge their finances to the same degree that their parents did; they prefer to have separate bank accounts instead of or in addition to a joint bank account.

Prenuptial Agreements: A Solution to the Student Loan Crisis?

Since many university graduates are unlikely to be debt-free before they reach their forties, prenuptial agreements are witnessing a surge in popularity.  Far from just being for very wealthy people, prenuptial agreements are a practical way for couples to address their debts.  In a prenuptial agreement, you specify which assets and debts are marital property and which are separate property.  It’s a way of promising that, if you divorce, your spouse will not be on the hook for your debt.  In reality, once they married, both spouses devote as much money as they can to paying down their own debts and each other’s.

Contact Us Today for Help

A prenuptial agreement is a declaration of your own trustworthiness; it does not have to be a sign that you do not trust your fiancé.  Contact the Boca Raton family lawyers at Schwartz | White about your prenuptial agreement case.



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