Putting Decades Of Legal Experience Toward Your Family’s Goals

Who pays student loan debt after a divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2021 | Division Of Assets

Your spouse has a lot of student loan debt — more than $100,000 — and has been in school during your marriage. Perhaps you got married as an undergrad or maybe your spouse graduated and then went back to school after your wedding. Either way, you’ve known about that debt for some time. 

Now you’re asking for a divorce, and your spouse is insisting that you will have to take on 50% of the debt during the asset division process. You know you have to divide other debts, such as your joint credit card debt. Is student loan debt handled the same way? 

Generally, student loans stay with the person who took them out

There are exceptions to every rule, but the law in California generally states that the student loan debt only belongs to the party who took out those loans, meaning it is not included as marital property. California is a community property state, so most assets and debts are just divided in half, but not all. Since your spouse will benefit from their education in ways you will not, you are not responsible for their loans. 

You may also simply want to consider when the loans were taken out. Did your spouse agree to those loans when they were still single, perhaps before they even met you? Marital assets (and debts) are those acquired together, as a couple. 

Working through your divorce

You can see that divorce raises a lot of financial questions. The more you can learn about the process, the easier it is to work through it successfully.