How is student loan debt divided in a divorce?

student loan debt divorce

In today’s society, it has become increasingly popular for individuals to seek a higher level of education. Individuals are seeking post-secondary education as those who attend college often earn significantly more than those with only a high school education. However, post-secondary education is not cheap. Oftentimes, individuals have to take out student loans to cover their tuition, books, and living expenses. Although these loans help them pay for their education, once they graduate they will have to repay these loans. According to statistics, it typically takes around 10-20 years to repay student loan debt. In a divorce, figuring out how assets and debts are divided can be difficult as student loans may be considered either marital property or separate property. Regardless, property division is one of the most complex aspects of a divorce. If you are seeking a divorce, please read on and contact a qualified Pensacola Property Division Lawyer who can help you through the intricate process of property division.

What happens to student loan debt in a divorce?

In a divorce, marital property is divided either equally (50/50) or fairly (not necessarily 50/50 split) depending on whether the state is a community property or equitable distribution jurisdiction. Community property states divide marital property equally as any assets or debts accumulated during the marriage are considered joint property. In equitable distribution states assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are divided fairly between both parties. Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means if student loan debt was acquired during the marriage it will be divided fairly during the division of property in a divorce. However, if the student loan debt was incurred before marriage, only the spouse that took out the loan is responsible for repaying that debt. This is because any assets or debts accumulated outside of marriage are considered separate property. Marital property is any assets and debts accumulated during the marriage. Separate property is not up for division during the division of property, however, marital property is.  Ultimately, this means that any student debt a spouse has accumulated outside of marriage is solely their responsibility after marriage. However, if a spouse co-signs a student loan for their partner they are legally obligated to make payments if their ex cannot. Regardless of whether you are no longer married, you are still liable for their debt. The same criteria apply to refinancing a student loan.

In the unfortunate event that divorce is imminent, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our determined and knowledgeable team members. Property division during a divorce can be extremely overwhelming as a lot is at stake. It’s important to have the right legal representation to ensure you know whether you are liable for your spouse’s student loan debt. Allow our experienced team members to assist you today.