If your husband or wife still owes money to student loans when you file for divorce, you may assume that you will be free of any responsibility for that debt going forward.
While student loans represent a form of debt taken out in one person’s name only, some unique situations may contribute to the debt being deemed a joint, marital debt when you get divorced.
How student loan funds are used
Money from student loans may directly fund education by paying tuition costs. Money from student loans may also pay for basic living expenses like rent or a mortgage, groceries and more. As explained by U.S. News and World Report, when a married person uses money received from student loans for basic living expenses, the spouse logically benefits from that, opening the door to the student loan debt being declared a joint debt.
Timing of student loans relative to timing of marriage
If your spouse took out student loans to pay for an undergraduate degree that was received 10 years prior to your marriage, the debt may logically be viewed as a solo debt. If, however, your spouse took out student loans to pay for a graduate degree after you were married, the debt may be considered shared.
The receipt of any degree and the earning power of both spouses may also contribute to the determination of responsibility for any student loan debt in a divorce.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Texas some information about how one spouse’s student loan debt may be viewed or assigned during a divorce.