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If you get divorced, do you have to pay your ex’s student loans?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2024 | Divorce

For many young couples in America, student loans are a significant part of their debt portfolio. Most students have to take out significant loans to get a degree, and they could owe over $100,000 when they’re done.

When these couples get divorced, then, they are naturally curious about who has to take on this debt. If your spouse is in school and taking out more student loans every year, are you still going to be responsible for them even if you ask for a divorce? Could you theoretically spend years paying for the education of someone you’re no longer married to?

When were the loans obtained?

The big question is often whether or not the loans were obtained during the marriage or prior to it.

For example, perhaps both you and your spouse met in college. You’d already taken out student loans and you got married after graduation. Each of you would usually just keep your own student loans after the divorce, and you would not have to worry about the other person’s obligations.

But say that you got married at the beginning of college, so you and your spouse were taking out student loans during that marriage. Or perhaps one of you went back to school at a later age, after you’d already gotten married. In that situation, the debt may belong to both of you, meaning that it has to get split up during property division. This is also true for other types of debt, such as credit card bills or medical bills.

A complex financial situation

Getting divorced can certainly become complicated financially, and debt is just one part of that. Make sure you know exactly what legal steps to take if you’re going through this process.