As the home of many colleges and universities, Massachusetts clearly promotes education as a worthy goal. Financing an education with loans, however, increasingly burdens people and adds to financial stress within their marriages. Money problems have long been known to lead to divorce, but the prevalence of student loans has emerged as a specific type of financial hardship that erodes long-term relationships.

A study sponsored by Student Loan Hero concluded that one-third of student loan borrowers in marriages ended up in divorce because of financial disagreements. Among them, 1 in 8 cited student loans specifically as the source of anger. Student debt balances carried by people have gone up 62% over the previous 10 years. The average balance totals over $34,000. The number of people owing more than $50,000 for their educations has tripled as well.

These debts impede people’s ability to move forward in life with the purchase of a home. People in serious relationships that appear to be headed toward marriage need to disclose their debts to partners and talk about how they plan to address financial issues a couple. A prenuptial agreement could mitigate ugly disputes in the future if a divorce occurs. The contract could require that debt payments made by one spouse toward the other spouse’s student loans would be credited back in the divorce settlement.

Although money woes might undermine a marriage, the decision to file for divorce requires a series of important financial decisions. The partners must decide how to split marital assets and debts. Middlesex County, Massachusetts, divorce lawyers could advise a person in this situation. Legal representation could improve the outcome of negotiations