Dealing with Student Loans in a Divorce

Your student loans help you pay for your education, but they may not be solely your debt to pay. If you and your spouse opt for a divorce, the court may hold your spouse responsible for repaying a portion of your student loan debt.

A Student Loan May Be Considered Marital Debt

Martial debts are debts incurred during the marriage for items or services that benefit both spouses. If your student loan predates your marriage, you remain responsible for it even after divorce. If, however, you applied for and received student loans while married, the court may consider your student loans marital debt. This means your spouse could be responsible for repaying a portion of your student loan debt.

Laws Regarding Dividing Student Loans

Different states have different case law examples to refer to when dividing student loans. Many states do not consider student loans a marital debt simply because the resulting degree isn’t shared by both spouses. Whether the court will divide your student loans or not depends upon the state you live in.

Community Property States

If you live in a community property state, all assets held by either spouse are considered the property of both--regardless of when the asset was acquired. Some community property states apply this logic to debts as well. The result is an even divide of all debts and assets including students loans you and your spouse owe. Talk to an attorney in your state to determine the laws regarding dividing student loan debt during a divorce.