When Minnesota couples are about to marry often the last thing they want to consider is the prospect that they may split up in the future. Increasingly, the reality is that many people will experience a divorce at one point in their lives. That’s why it is always prudent to prepare by dividing assets and liabilities before the wedding, and to get that agreement down in writing.

Today, the average potential marriage partner who has graduated college comes to the arrangement bearing about $30,000 in debt, considerably more for those with advanced degrees. It would not be unreasonable to imagine a scenario where a couple’s combined student loan debt could exceed a $100,000. That’s a lot of money to be on the hook for once the honeymoon is over and both parties are heading for the exit door of the relationship.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to meet with a legal professional before you tie the knot to discuss debt liability in a prenuptial agreement should the marriage ever dissolve. For example, many people believe that their student loan debt becomes shared once the ring slips on their finger. Unfortunately, that is not so in most cases. It will usually stick with you through the divorce.

Student loan debt accrued during the marriage is often a different story. Still, determining which party is liable after the divorce depends largely on the governing laws of your state. Some states practice equitable distribution of debt, while other states practice community-property and still others practice the concept of marital-property.

Prenuptial agreements can be complicated, tricky documents which are rife with confusing language and nuanced meanings. That is why you should not go it alone when making such a potentially expensive and important life decision. You should consult a Minnesota legal professional first. Everyone enters a marriage hoping that it will last forever. In the unfortunate event that yours does not, you don’t want to regret not considering student loan debt in your prenuptial.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Who Is Responsible for the Student Loans After Divorce?” Charlie Wells, Apr. 13, 2014