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Financial discussions and concerns have the ability to taint a couple’s marriage. It is no secret that money issues cause tensions in marriages, but a recent study has shown that college debt is becoming a thorny issue for couples to work through, and it often results in marriage dissolution.

The survey was conducted by an online site that helps students manage their college debt. Its results showed that more than one-third of borrowers who responded said college debt and financial woes such as credit card debt contributed to their divorce. One in eight, or 13 percent of the 800 surveyed, said student loans ended their relationship. New York residents may not be aware of this, but the average outstanding balance on student loans when one graduates has gone up by more than 60 percent in the last decade. The percentage of borrowers who owe $50,000 or more has gone up over the last 10 years as well.

Though the person whose name is on a student loan is responsible for repaying that, marrying into that kind of debt can cause friction in one’s relationship. It can feel unfair and prevent a couple form investing in a house or from having a child. It can also cause resentment if one spouse is using half their salary to repay their loan while their partner is buying golf clubs.

Student loan distribution during a divorce can be complicated and one way to avoid these tensions during a marriage. When it comes to marriage, it is best to be honest about one’s financial situation from the onset. Including clauses about debt and property division in a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement can help couples decide how to reimburse a partner who is helping make student loan payments. It might help to speak to an experienced attorney early on in the relationship to create this type of agreement and, hopefully, avoid heated conflict in the event of divorce.