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How student loans are divided during a divorce

When couples divorce in Ballantyne, North Carolina, the issue of how their debt is divided can be a touchy subject, especially if one spouse was responsible for incurring a majority of the debt. One area that can be particularly confusing is how student loan debt is handled in a divorce.

In cases where the student loans are taken out while the couple is married, both the husband and wife may be responsible for paying them off. There are many variables that decide how the debt will be divided including who benefitted from the loan, if the debt is considered marital property and each person’s ability to pay it off.

While it is true that the person who took out the loan will typically be responsible for paying it off, the court may order the other spouse to help if he or she earns more and the person with the loan will have a hard time making the payments.

Many people believe that student loans incurred before marriage automatically become marital debt once the marriage has been performed. This is typically not the case unless there is a predetermined contractual agreement. Student loans taken out before a couple weds are generally considered separate property and the spouse will usually not be responsible for it after a divorce.

If you are facing a divorce and have questions about student loan debt, you may wish to speak with an attorney experienced in family law. A lawyer can review your case and advise you on the best way to proceed.

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

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