How do you and your ex divide up student loan debt when you divorce?
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How do you and your ex divide up student loan debt when you divorce?

| Oct 16, 2020 | Property Division

If you asked most divorced couples what one of the hardest parts of divorce was, they’d likely mention the property division process. No spouse wants to part ways with their hard-earned assets.

What about debts, however? Things may also get rough when you and your ex discuss dividing the household debts such as student loans. 

Debts work much like assets in a divorce. Any liabilities that a spouse has coming into their marriage generally forever remain their own. Debts, such as student loans that a couple acquires during a marriage generally become a marital debt

Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that a judge “fairly” splits up any of the assets or debts that spouses amass during their divorce. Broward County family law judges take into account several factors when deciding what’s “fair.”

The judge presiding over your case is likely to ask how you used the student loans you took out. If you used the debt to pay for household expenses in addition to your education costs, then they’ll likely rule that you both need to share in paying back the loans. If you only used the funds to pay for your schooling, the judge may rule that you alone owe what’s due. 

If you took out private student loans, then you likely required a co-signer to receive those funds. If your spouse signed on the dotted line, they might be on the hook for a portion of the loan. 

Your family law judge will likely also want to know what your spouse was up to while you completed school. If they took care of the home or kids while you were in school or hauled you back-and-forth to campus, then a judge may decide that your husband or wife has already done their part to support your academic endeavors. They may then order you to pay back your student loans by yourself.

Sorting out what happens with assets and debts is one of the more challenging aspects of a Florida divorce, especially when you’re trying to learn to live on your own once again. A property division attorney can help the two of you devise a debt settlement strategy so that you can both move on with your lives here in Broward County.