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Student loan debt and prenuptial agreements

Couples in Texas and around the country are waiting longer to get married than their parents did, and some observers believe that this has led to a surge in the popularity of prenuptial agreements. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers asked family law attorneys about this phenomenon in 2016, and 62 percent of the respondents said that the couples seeking advice from them about such agreements had increased.

Eight out of 10 Americans are married by the age of 45, but this milestone was reached by the age of 30 in the 1970s. Studies have found that members of the millennial generation are putting off getting married until they are financially secure, but achieving this goal often takes them years or even decades. Prenuptial agreements are more common among older couples because they have more assets to worry about, larger incomes to protect and generally more pragmatic views of the world.

Couples are also citing different reasons for entering into prenuptial agreements. Census data reveals that about 41 percent of couples are carrying student loan debt. This figure was just 17 percent in 1989. It is believed that many millennial couples are seeking prenuptial agreements because they do not wish to be held financially responsible for their spouses' educational obligations, and these concerns have become more pronounced in recent years as the costs associated with earning a degree have soared. The Institute for College Success reports that the average college graduate in 2015 left school owing $30,100 in student loans.

Experienced family law attorneys may suggest prenuptial or postnuptial agreements to couples who wish to avoid protracted legal battles should their marriages fail, but they could also recommend that they negotiate in good faith and reach an agreement that is basically fair. Judges may refuse to enforce prenuptial agreements when one of the parties has not been truthful about finances or was coerced into signing it.

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Bruce Turner with Bennett, Weston LaJone & Turner, P.C.

Attorney Bruce Turner is located in Dallas and represents people and businesses throughout DFW and the Metroplex, including Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Farmers Branch, Irving, Las Colinas, Corinth, Highland Village, The Colony, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Garland and Grapevine as well as Collin County, Denton County and Dallas County in Texas.

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