Am I Responsible for My Spouse’s Student Loans if We Get Divorced in Florida?
Millions of people in the United States carry student loan debt. If you are married to one of them, you may be wondering, “Am I responsible for my spouse’s student loans if we get divorced in Florida?” The answer is that it depends. In some situations, you very well may be responsible for some or even all of their student debt.
When Am I Responsible for My Spouse’s Student Loans if We Get Divorced in Florida?
During a divorce, assets and liabilities are divided equitably between the spouses. Equitable division does not necessarily mean a 50/50 division. Rather it refers to a fair division of assets and liabilities, which, in some cases, could see one spouse receiving more assets than debts compared to the other spouse.
Additionally, only those assets and liabilities that are considered marital property will be divided. Typically, assets and liabilities acquired before marriage are not considered marital property and do not undergo equitable division and distribution. But many of the assets and liabilities that are acquired during the marriage will be divided.
Hence, if you marry someone with $50,000 in student loans, you will most likely not be responsible for helping to pay these loans in the event of a divorce. However, if your spouse acquired the $50,000 in loans after you exchanged vows, the debt will be considered marital debt and the responsibility of both spouses.
Prenups and Postnups
With a well-written prenup or postnup, you and your spouse can decide who is ultimately responsible for student loans borrowed during the course of the marriage. The only caveat with using these tools is that they must be airtight or face being ruled invalid by a judge, which happens quite often.
Equitable Distribution and Student Loans
As mentioned, the courts follow a system of equitable distribution when dividing up debts and assets. So when it comes to student loans that are considered marital debt, the division may not be precisely down the middle.
In fact, the principles of equitable distribution may result in only one party paying for the student loan, even if it was acquired during the course of the marriage. For example, if the person who took out the student loan makes far more money than their spouse, the borrower may have to handle all of the payments by themselves.
Another factor that may affect who pays for student loans is whether one spouse acted as a cosigner for the loan. When this situation occurs, both spouses are on the hook legally for the loans, although a judge may still require one spouse to pay more than the other.
Reach Out to an Experienced Lawyer to Discuss Your Spouse’s Student Loans in a Divorce
At The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm, we are always ready to help our clients understand and explore the options they have in their cases. If you have questions regarding your spouse’s student loans or any other issue that might affect your divorce and future finances, contact us for a free consultation and case review today.