The average student loan balance around the country is more than $34,000. This can have an impact on whether or not a person’s marriage is successful. Student loan payments may make it difficult to actually have a wedding, buy a home or start a family. Ideally, California residents who have student loan debt will talk about it with their partner prior to getting married. Doing so can help a couple account for it in a variety of different ways.

For instance, it may be possible to create a prenuptial agreement that states that the debt is the responsibility of whoever accrued it. Furthermore, it may be possible for a spouse who helps pay off a debt to ask for reimbursement in the event that the couple divorces. A prenuptial agreement can also be used to determine how assets should be divided in the event of a divorce.

While some people may not like the thought of discussing a divorce before getting married, it is generally best to do so. Marriage itself is simply a contract between two people, so discussing a prenuptial agreement can be considered nothing more than contract negotiations. According to a survey from Student Loan Hero, one-third of divorced couples said that disagreements over money was the main reason why their marriages ended.

The end of a marriage may mean that a couple needs to decide how to divide marital assets and debts. If a couple does not have a prenuptial agreement, it may be a good idea to have a mediator help negotiate the final divorce settlement. An attorney may help during mediation or other efforts to create a favorable resolution. Legal counsel may also help create or review a prenuptial or similar type of agreement at any time.