Who Pays the Student Loan after Divorce?

This will likely not come as a surprise; I am a family law attorney and as a lawyer I attended law school… and piled on plenty of student loan debt to do so. But you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand that more and more students are graduating under enormous financial burdens associated with having put themselves through school. Gone are the days of summer jobs to finance a college tuition. With steadily increasing rates of higher level education attendance student loans become a key component in asset and debt division for many clients.


Separate or Community? The first step in analyzing who is responsible for paying for the student loan debt upon divorce is to look at when the debts were accrued. Washington is a community property state, which means that assets (and debts, like student loans) obtained during the marriage are community property. On the other hand, student loans debt that was accrued before the marriage remains separate property.


Married a Student? Community property student loan debts are where issues can get complicated. Depending on who paid, and who is reaping the benefits of that degree the court may order either or both parties to be responsible. On the other hand, if a spouse has paid significantly for these debts but not reaped any benefit from them they may also be entitled to reimbursement for their payments. It is best to address your specific situation with an experienced family law attorney.


Co-signed? If you co-signed on your ex-spouse’s student loan then you are also responsible for the payment of those debts regardless of when the loans were obtained. It is particularly important to address these issues in your divorce proceeding as your ex-spouse’s failure to pay on a student loan to which you have co-signed may affect your credit unless action is taken to prevent this.

We understand that divorce can be a harrowing experience emotionally, physically and logistically, which is why we have lawyers here to help. Having an experienced divorce lawyer can make all the difference to your process. Because we focus solely on family law, we understand the dynamics and can help guide you through your divorce. Please contact Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC for a free consultation regarding your divorce. For more information about collaborative divorce or mediation please visit our website. 

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

Establishing paternity and parentage is important for many families and parents. Regardless of why you want to establish paternity and parentage, the process has the potential to be confusing, especially if you are unfamiliar with the terms and rules for…

After divorce, you may find yourself living on one less stream of income than you did when you were married and want to find a way to make up for it. Or even if you didn’t lose any income by…

If you are in the process of getting remarried, a prenuptial agreement may be the last thing on your mind. It should be at the forefront of it, however, as it can be beneficial for you, your spouse, and, if…

As a mom of four (now adult) kids, I remember well the flood of emotions that came each time they went to my ex’s, especially during the early days of my separation and eventually after my divorce. Not only was…

The holidays can look much different during a divorce than they did only a year earlier, and the changes can take some getting used to. The challenge is that you have to start somewhere, and in these “newer” moments, it…

You can use Collaborative Law to support your process of creating and negotiating a prenup with your partner.

In Washington state, if you are involved in a custody dispute, which involves difficult questions related to specific needs for your children or serious parenting deficits (such as mental health, substance abuse, or domestic violence), an evaluation service may be…

Apologizing can be hard, especially if you have a contentious relationship with the person you are apologizing to. If you want to have a polite (even friendly) relationship with your ex in the future, though, owning up to and apologizing…

In the same way that every divorce is different, so, too, is every divorce lawyer and the law firms where they work. From lawyers’ individual personalities, expertise, and experience to law firms’ varying cultures and values which provide the framework…

As a divorce and family law attorney, I have yet to hear of anyone getting married and opening a savings account for divorce fees should they need such an account down the road. I also do not know of anyone…