For generations, research has shown that money contributes to the end of more marriages than any other issue couples may face. This may be because one spouse makes more than the other or the two cannot agree on how to save or spend. Another reason may be because the amount of debt the couple has creates unbearable stress between the spouses. While each California marriage is unique and has its own struggles, a new study shows that one financial issue is causing more divorce recently than in the past.

About one third of surveyed divorced couples concur that money issues created serious problems in their marriage. However, over 10 percent named student loans as a major contributing factor in their divorce. These days, more couples enter marriage with over $30,000 in individual outstanding college debt. This is a heavy obligation, and many spouses find it is too heavy to share.

In the past 10 years, the number of graduates with college debt totaling more than $50,000 has tripled. Coming into a marriage carrying such substantial debt may mean a couple has to postpone important milestones, such as buying a home or starting a family. This can compound the stress.

A solid prenuptial agreement is one way to protect each other from student loan debt. Couples can specify that any marital funds put toward paying down one spouse’s debt will be balanced out during property division if the couple breaks up. A California attorney can assist in drafting a solid prenuptial agreement as well as fighting for fair treatment during property division in the event of a divorce.