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Divorce and your student debt from before marriage

| Jun 13, 2019 | divorce

You and your spouse met in college. You got married just after graduation. Five years later, unfortunately, your spouse asked for a divorce.

You do not have any student loan debt. You worked two jobs and paid your way through college. Your spouse, however, took on massive amounts of debt that he or she has to pay back. As a couple, the two of you have been making those payments every month.

What you’re wondering is if you are going to take on any of that debt after the divorce. You know that part of the asset division process includes dividing debts like car loans, credit card debt and the like.

There is some good news: As long as your spouse took out those loans on their own, before the two of you got married, you are not responsible for them. They are separate property and they stay with your spouse. It does not matter that you have been helping him or her pay them off during the marriage.

However, if you took on the debt after tying the knot — maybe your spouse went to grad school — and you acquired it as a couple, then you may be responsible for a portion of that debt. It’s the same as applying for a mortgage loan as a couple or using a joint credit card. You both agreed to pay it off.

It’s important to carefully consider all of your financial questions during a divorce. Make sure you know exactly where you stand, what rights you have and what obligations belong to both of you.

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