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Are student loans the newest family law issue?

Although divorce is a uniquely personal experience for Alabama couples, there are overarching trends that run through many filings. One of the newest trends popping up in family law courts? Student loans. Couples are increasingly blaming the end of their marriages on overwhelming student debt. 

Financial stress is nothing new when it comes to divorce, as experts identified it as a common factor in divorce quite some time ago. However, student loans as a specific cause for divorce is much newer, and yet still widespread. Of divorcees who have student loans, 13 percent say that debt led to divorce. 

Currently, 44 million people carry $1.5 trillion in student loans, and the average 2017 college graduate left school with nearly $40,000 of debt. This presents a unique struggle to young couples. A study from Student Loan Hero found that nearly half of its respondents said that they put off having children because of their student loans. That same study found that 25 percent hid their student loans from their spouse. 

When financial problems lead to divorce, couples are well advised to pay careful attention to the process of property division. Although most people in Alabama know that they will have to deal with obvious property like homes, cars, and savings accounts, few are prepared for the other side of asset division -- debt. Family law also requires that divorcing couples split up their debt. Individuals should be particularly cautious when handling this side of things. Regardless of who a divorce settlement says is responsible for paying it back, the company will go after the person/s listed on the account in the event of a debt becoming past due. 

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