What happens to student loans in a divorce?

student loan debt piggy bank in graduation cap with calculator

In recent years, post-secondary education has become increasingly popular. This is because many careers require a higher level of education such as a college degree. With it becoming more popular, the cost of tuition has increased significantly. Post-secondary education is expensive. Oftentimes individuals have to take out student loans to cover the cost of their living expenses, books, and tuition. After they have finished their post-secondary education, they will have to repay their loans plus interest. According to statistics, it takes the average person 10-20 years to repay their loans after they’ve graduated. Many individuals wonder what will happen to their student loans in a divorce. Ultimately, the answer depends on whether the student loan debt was accumulated before or during the marriage. If you are seeking a divorce, please read on and contact an experienced Monmouth County Property Distribution Attorney who can help you understand how your student loan debt will be handled during property distribution.

How is student loan debt divided in a divorce?

One of the most overwhelming aspects of a divorce is the division of assets. During the process of property distribution, the courts will either split marital property between both parties equitably or fairly depending on which state the couple resides in. States either follow community property or equitable distribution rules when it comes to property distribution. Community property states divide marital property equally between both parties. Equitable distribution states divide marital property fairly, not necessarily 50/50 between both parties. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. Essentially, marital property is any assets and debts that were accumulated during the duration of the marriage. Separate property on the other hand is any assets or debts that have been accumulated outside of the marriage. Student loan debt may either be considered marital property or separate property depending on when it was acquired. In New Jersey, student loan debt remains solely the borrower’s responsibility if it was incurred before marriage. However, if the student loan debt was incurred during the marriage, it will be divided in whatever way the courts deem fair between both parties. Nevertheless, it is imperative to note that if one spouse co-signed the student loan, they will remain liable if the primary borrower cannot make payments. They are legally obligated regardless of the divorce.

In the unfortunate event that divorce is imminent, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our determined and skilled attorneys who can help you navigate the complexities of property distribution. It is imperative to retain the legal services of an experienced attorney. Our qualified attorneys can help ensure you understand your liability for repaying student loan debt after your divorce is finalized. Allow our firm to assist you today!