What Happens to Student Loans After Divorce?
There are many people who get divorced while still paying back student loans. As you may know, the debts you and your spouse have are subject to division just like the property you own together. But does that include your student loans?
Dealing with student loans in divorce
The most important factor with student loans in a divorce is whose name is on the loan. Your spouse may well have been helping you pay off your student loans during your marriage, but if it’s only your name that’s on the loan and you took out the loan before your marriage, then only you can be held legally responsible for paying that loan back.
Your ex may agree to help you pay off your student loans, but unless that agreement is in writing and part of your divorce decree, he or she does not actually have any legal obligation to do so if your name is the one attached to the loan.
There are, however, some exceptions. Some couples refinance or consolidate their own separate student loans during their marriage into a single loan. If you’ve done this, you may need to split these loans up again so each person is responsible for only their loan.
You should also be aware that student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. There are some people who file for bankruptcy after a divorce to get some financial relief from the debts they are responsible for paying themselves, but you cannot get student loan relief unless you are able to prove paying off those loans would be an “undue hardship,” something you’ll have a very difficult time accomplishing.
To learn more about some of the strategies you can use to handle student loan debt as part of your divorce, meet with a skilled Long Island family law attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.