Getting divorced can trigger overwhelming emotions like anger, grief, and frustration. However, you shouldn’t feel confused by the terms of your divorce. Instead, doing what you can to anticipate changes to your finances and living situation is essential to making the transition smooth. One of these considerations surrounds student loans and how they are distributed during a divorce in California. The following blog explains what you can expect and how a Los Angeles division of assets attorney can help you protect the funds you’ve worked hard to secure.
Understanding the Timing of Student Loans
When considering how student loan debt will be assigned during a divorce, the most essential thing to consider is when the debt was incurred. For example, if your spouse took out loans before you were married, this debt would not be deemed marital property. However, if they took out the loans after your marriage, the debt would likely be considered community property.
In California, all property, funds, assets, and debts incurred after a couple is married is considered community property, with a few exceptions. This means that a bulk of the assets will be distributed according to the community property statute, which grants a 50/50 split of marital property during a divorce.
What Factors Can Influence the Distribution?
There are some factors that can influence student loan debt distribution during a divorce, even in a community property state like California. For example, if one spouse receives the education and the other help pay for the loans, the court may order the spouse who received the degree to reimburse their partner. This is because the courts have deemed it unfair that one spouse receives education and no loans while the other used their own funds to help pay for the degree.
However, this may look different if one spouse took out the loans during the marriage, received their degree, used their education to secure a better job, and helped provide financially for the family. Because the other spouse benefited from this education, they may inherit half of their spouse’s student loan debt.
Can a Riverside County, California Attorney Help?
Unfortunately, there are many nuances and challenges surrounding student loan debt distribution in community property states. The best way to protect yourself and your hard-earned money is to hire an attorney as soon as you and your spouse decide to separate. Waiting too long can leave you vulnerable to inheriting debt you should not be responsible for.
When you make the decision to file for divorce or are served papers, contacting the Zitser Family Law Group as soon as possible is essential. Our legal firm understands how frustrating it can be to be held responsible for a debt you did not benefit from. We are dedicated to fighting for the best outcome for our clients. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.