True love calls: Now what about those student loans?

When love is in the air, young couples in Georgia and everywhere else across the country tend to follow its sweet song.

That song can indeed be riveting, in fact, so compelling that it blocks out thoughts of everything save romantic ardor and getting that marriage certificate signed without delay.

In retrospect, it might not have been such a bad idea for many couples to ink one additional document prior to betrothal, namely, a prenuptial agreement.

We have noted that before, occasionally visiting the topic of marital contracts and their potential utility for some of our readers in Georgia and other states. Our October 24, 2014 blog entry is a representative example.

Until today, though, we have not specifically addressed how useful such a marital contract — prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, postnuptial contract after a marriage is commenced — can be for a couple in addressing and reaching a legal understanding on student loans incurred by one or both partners.

The staggering amount of school-related loans carried by millions of Americans is hardly a secret these days; according to one authoritative source, students who took out loans to earn a bachelor’s degree graduated on average in 2012 with about $29,400 in debt.

For some students, that amount is much higher. When it applies to both partners in a marriage, it is easy to see how weighty repayment obligations can be.

Some people automatically assume that debt incurred prior to marriage remains a separate liability during and following a marriage for the partner who took out loans.

That might be true. Conversely, it might be false, especially if a judge steps in to take steps he or she thinks are necessary to equitably apportion payment duties following a divorce. A number of factors might influence a court to do so.

Student debt is a subject that a would-be marrying couple might just want to raise with an attorney commanding strong experience drafting marital contracts.

A proven Atlanta-area family law lawyer can answer questions and provide relevant information.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Who is responsible for the student loans after divorce?” Charlie Wells, April 13, 2014

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