Who is responsible for student loans in a divorce?

The lawyer answer is – it depends. The student loans will either be a marital debt – required to be split between you and your spouse as marital debt (along with all the other debts) – or it will be non-marital debt and remain your sole liability.

The court will look to determine when the student loans were taken out by the student. If all the student loans were taken out prior to the date of the marriage, the student loan debt is nonmarital and will remain the sole responsibility and liability of the student.

If the student loans were all taken out after the date of the marriage and prior to the divorce being filed, this will most likely be a marital debt and the parties will have to distribute the debt along with all of the other marital debt during equitable distribution.

If the student loans were taken out before and during the marriage, a portion of the debt will be non-marital and a portion of the debt will be considered marital.

Then, when the Court looks to split up all your assets and debt in equitable distribution, the Court will seek to balance out the equities of the parties. That, however, does not mean equal. There are numerous factors that the courts look at to balance the equities unequally including, but not limited to, one spouse hiding/moving money or one spouse keeping a larger asset such as a home. The courts will review all of the marital assets and debts to balance everything out based on the facts and circumstances of your case.

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