Am I Responsible for My Spouse’s Student Loans?
To understand the answer to this question, you must be familiar with the concept of the marital estate. The marital estate includes all assets and debts that were acquired during the marriage. In cases where a spouse went to college before marrying, all of that debt would be part of their own estate. In the event that the student loan was acquired during the marriage, however, it would be considered a part of the marital estate and you might be responsible for it.
The Tampa, FL family law attorneys at Westchase Law, P.A. will discuss the topic of when you are responsible for debts that your partner contributed to the marriage.
Student loans are usually considered separate debt
In the majority of cases, the debt for a student loan was acquired prior to the marriage taking place. In other cases, it was acquired during the marriage. In most cases, it will be considered a separate debt and only the student who incurred the loans is responsible for repaying that debt. That means that you would never have to pay for your spouse’s student loans.
Alternatively, debts that were acquired during the marriage are considered a part of the marital estate. That means that they are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. In that case, if the debts are split between the two spouses, one spouse could be responsible for paying the student loans of another spouse. This is a good reason why most individuals in college would not want to get married. You could be taken on debt that you don’t directly benefit from.
If you have incurred debt due to your spouse’s student loans, you may be able to negotiate away that debt during your divorce. In other words, the other spouse would agree to absorb the costs of that debt that they incurred while going to school.
When does student loan debt become a part of the marital estate?
Student loan debt becomes part of the marital estate when one spouse agrees to incur the debt while they are married. If they agreed to the debt prior to the marriage, it would be considered separate from the marital estate. So, if you marry someone who is going to college, they agreed to the debt prior to the marriage, and hence, the debt would not be considered a part of the marital estate. Instead, it would be considered a separate debt.
If they started going to school during the marriage, it is possible that you would owe a percentage of their student loans. Florida is considered an equitable distribution state. That means that marital assets and liabilities are not necessarily divided 50/50. Instead, the state considers what is equitable to both spouses. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact a Tampa, FL family lawyer today.
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Westchase Law, P.A. represents the interests of Tampa residents who are pursuing a divorce in the state of Florida. Call today to schedule an appointment and we can begin providing top quality legal representation today.