Who Pays Student Loan Debt in a Divorce in California?

If you’re getting divorced and have accrued a significant amount of student loan debt, you’re most likely wondering whether you’ll have to shoulder part, or all of it. Please continue reading and reach out to a knowledgeable Los Angeles division of assets attorney from our firm to learn more about who pays student loan debt in a divorce and how our legal team can assist you. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Who pays student loan debt in California when a couple gets a divorce?

The party responsible for paying off student loan debt depends largely on the circumstances of how and when the debt was accrued. For example, if you took out a student loan before you were married, accrued debt, and got divorced afterward, you will most likely be the sole party responsible for paying off this debt. However, if you co-signed student debt on behalf of your spouse, there’s a strong chance you’ll be responsible for paying off at least a portion of the debt yourself. That said, if you can refinance in your own name or locate a lender that allows co-signers, there’s a chance you won’t be required to pay off your spouse’s student loan debt.

Is this true even if I live in a community property state?

California is considered a community property state. Simply put, this means that in most cases, when couples get divorced, courts will split their assets 50/50. That said, this policy typically is not applied when it comes to student loans here in California, as the state tends to view a college education as something that should help a person financially support themselves, and that they should, therefore, be able to pay off the loans on their own. However, you should note that there really is no one-size-fits-all means for distributing college debt between spouses when they get divorced. For example, sometimes spouses will outline in a prenuptial agreement how student loan debt should be divided. In other cases, courts will simply determine it fair and just that one spouse assists the other in paying off debts. Courts will ultimately determine student loan debt distribution on a case-by-case basis, which is why you should always consult with a knowledgeable Los Angeles divorce attorney before entering divorce proceedings where student loan debt is on the table.

Contact our experienced Los Angeles firm

Divorce and family law issues are notoriously complicated and personal, which is why you must hire an attorney with years of experience, as well as the compassion and skill needed to handle these sensitive matters. For the qualified, dedicated legal representation you and your family deserve and need, contact Zitser Family Law Group, APC today.

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