Does Divorce Affect Your Student Loan Debt?

student loan debtThere is no denying that all aspects of a divorce are unpleasant. You never expected to be going through this, and there is so much to consider, especially when it comes to the division of assets. Even in an uncontested divorce, this is difficult. In a contested divorce, this process can get downright nasty, and it is vital that you secure an Arizona family law attorney to help you through this.

But what happens to your student loans in a divorce?

Today, we want to talk about student loans and how they are affected by divorce. We will also get into some of the other assets and debts that will be split during the separation process.

When was the student loan debt acquired?

That is the big question, and the answer will determine how difficult the student loan problem will be. If your student loan debt was acquired before you were married, then the debt is yours alone. You are going to leave the marriage with all of that debt to pay off.

However, if the student loan debt was acquired after you were married, the situation becomes more complex. Arizona is a community property state. This means that marital assets (and debts) are divided equally between both spouses in a divorce.

  • If you live in Arizona and get divorced, you and your spouse will have to split student loan debt equally if it was acquired during the marriage.

We know that may not seem fair, especially to the spouse who did not acquire any student loan debt on their own. It may seem like they are being punished because their spouse piled up the debt.

If my spouse did not graduate, will I still be on the line for their student loans?

Yes, you are going to be responsible for the debt regardless of whether they graduated or not.

What else is going to be split in the divorce?

As we mentioned, Arizona is a community property state. Asset and debt division can get complicated and contentious. You need to consider all of the property you have acquired during the marriage, all of the income and savings you have, as well as debts.

  • The marital residence
  • Other homes purchased
  • Pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s
  • Stocks, commissions, and salaries
  • Vehicles, RVs, and boats
  • Other real estate
  • Furniture, artwork, collectibles
  • And more

Remember the debts. All debts acquired during the marriage will be split as well, including:

  • Student loans
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages
  • Tax debt
  • Personal loans
  • Payday loans
  • Automobile loans
  • And more

It does not matter if only one spouse’s name is on the debt. Both spouses are going to be responsible for them after a divorce. However, if a credit card was taken out in one spouse’s name before the marriage and the other spouse was never added to the card, the debt will remain the responsibility of the person who obtained the card.

A family law judge will ultimately be responsible for determining what an equitable division of property looks like. It will not always be a 50-50 split, and some of the assets may need to be sold in order to properly divide them between spouses.

Click here for an article on student loans and divorce.

What you need to do moving forward

We know that divorce and separation are not what you wanted to be dealing with. However, in most cases, you are going to have to secure help from a skilled Arizona family law attorney. With everything that is at stake, you want to ensure no mistakes are made. Along with the division of the assets we discussed above, you may also be dealing with:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Visitation
  • Alimony payments
  • Protective orders
  • Modification
  • And more

You do not have to do this alone. Find a qualified and experienced lawyer to have your back.

Click here for information on divorce and the disclaimer deed in Arizona.