Student Loans and Divorce

Student loans are a form of financial aid that people use to pay for post-secondary education. They may come from federal programs, state programs, or private companies. Individuals who receive student loan must pay back the loans once they are no longer in school. Student loans accrue interest on a period time as state in the loan contract. Some student loan programs do not accrue interest while the loan borrower is in school. Other programs give the borrower the option to defer interest and add it to the total amount later or to let the interest begin at the start of the loan. While each loan agreement may be different, all loans become the debt of the borrower.

When a person files for a divorce, the court requires the spouses to submit a list of their property and debts. In assessing marital debt, the court must determine if the liabilities on the list are the separate debt of one spouse or the joint marital debt of both spouses. Separate property and debt includes property and debt that a spouses acquired before marriage, by gift to one spouse, by inheritance, or under a will. Marital property and debt includes property and debt acquired after marriage.

If a person borrowed student loan money before the marriage, it is the debt of the individual spouse. However, some spouses go to school during the marriage and receive student loan money for tuition, books, and other school fees. The student loan received during the marriage is the shared debt of the spouses. However, percentage of obligation of the debt may not be a equal 50/50 split. Whatever, portion of the marital student debt the court assigns to each spouse, he or she is responsible to pay.

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