California is a community property state, which means that assets and debts acquired during a marriage are divided equally in a divorce. Student loans, however, could be treated as separate property – even if the loans were taken out during the marriage.
In this issue, the San Diego divorce attorneys with the Men’s Legal Center will explain what a court or judge may consider when determining how responsibility for a student loan will be divided during a divorce.
How will be responsible for student loans after my California divorce?
The simple answer is that “it depends.” California law specifically states “a loan incurred during marriage for the education or training of a party shall not be included among the liabilities of the community.”
A judge will most likely consider a host of things to determine who is responsible for paying back the student loan.
- It depends on the use of the student loan money.
If the funds from your student loan were used to solely for your education – the purchase of books, payment of tuition and fees, and other educational material – the judge will most likely decide that debt separate property, and you alone are responsible for the debt.If, however, the funds covered daily living expenses, you and your former spouse or partner will likely share the responsibility of repaying the loan.
- Already existing student loans were consolidated after marriage.
If you and your spouse consolidated pre-existing student loans, both of you made an agreement to share the responsibility for repaying the now-combined loan.
- The input of your spouse or partner.
If your spouse or partner provided a substantial supporting role in your education (took you to class, handled the housekeeping responsibilities, etc.), the judge may rule they have already paid their fair share of the student loan debt.
If you’re going through a divorce, protect your financial and family interests by calling the Men’s Legal Center.
A college education is among the most costly investments we’ll make. To make sure you’re not on the hook for the entire bill, get in touch with us here at the Men’s Legal Center.