One of the great things about society today is that there are more and more Georgians going to college. With a college education comes a better chance of getting a well-paying job, but it also comes with a higher risk of student loan debt. Because of this, there are many young couples in Holly Springs walking down the aisle with a combined debt of nearly $90,000. Of course, this is just an average and does include mortgage debt, but when individuals are married, it may mean both parties are responsible for the debt, not just the individuals who accrued it.

Now, if things work out, a couple can whittle away at the debt until they have paid it all off. If they get a divorce, however, their debts may be divided along with their marital assets, meaning some people could be paying off their ex’s student loan debt even after a divorce. Talking about finances before marriage is an important way to avoid this seemingly unfair situation entirely.

Financial matters are one of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce in the first place, so it should be a no-brainer for couples to discuss their finances before marriage. Sadly, many don’t and they just combine all their finances — assets and debts — which could be trouble if the marriage ends.

There are alternatives, however. Married couples do not need to take on each other’s student loans, but that needs to be carefully talked about and recorded in a prenuptial agreement. If each spouse wants to be responsible for his or her debt alone, talking to a family law attorney about a prenup may be the best thing to avoid a potential headache later on.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Financial Issues to Discuss Before You Get Married,” Daniel Lippman, Sept. 29, 2013