What Will Happen to My Student Loans After Divorce?

A divorce unwinds a couple’s financial relationship. As part of a divorce, you will need to divide marital property as well as marital debts. What happens to your student loans? Will you be fully responsible for them, or will your spouse have to repay a portion of the debt?

Increasingly, Americans are taking on more student loan debt. Currently, the amount of outstanding student loans is about $1.5 trillion—an astounding number. Many graduates also do not find well-paying jobs immediately after college, so these loans are an additional burden to them as they start their careers.

To determine what will happen to student loans, a judge will look at Ohio divorce law, which considers several factors.

When Did You Incur the Debt?

With the age of marriage increasing each decade, many people incur their student loans while single. If you took out your loans before walking down the aisle, then they will most likely be considered your personal debt. Whatever debts the couple comes into the marriage with are considered personal. This means you will be responsible for your debts after marriage, just as you were before marriage and during marriage.

Some people, though, go to school later in life and will incur the debt while they are married. In this situation, student loans might be considered marital debt, i.e., joint. A lot will depend on the circumstances. For example, a judge will look at a variety of factors, such as:

  • Who the debt benefited
  • Who took out the debt
  • Which spouse is better able to pay off the debt

These factors can be complicated to analyze on your own, which is why you should meet with North Canton divorce attorney for a case evaluation.

What Happens if a Debt is Joint?

Joint debts are split in a divorce, just as joint assets are divided. One thing you need to understand the division of debts is that it only affects you and your spouse. The court order will not change whose name appears on the loan or who is ultimately responsible in the eyes of your lender. In other words, your lender can still come after you so long as you signed for the loans.

If the judge assigns all or a portion of your student loans to your ex, you need to make sure your former spouse stays on top of payments. Any default could seriously undermine your credit. For this reason, you might actually want to maintain full responsibility for your student loans but ask for more property in the divorce as compensation.

Speak with a North Canton Divorce Attorney Now

If you have student loans in divorce, you should carefully consider your options, including whether you want your spouse to be partially (or completely) responsible for the debts. At the Fout Law Office, we have years of experience helping clients achieve a favorable divorce, and we want to put our experience to work for you.

To schedule a consultation with our office, please call 330-437-7455. All meetings are kept strictly confidential.