Many Florida residents have questions about how student loan debt is treated during a divorce. The answer is not as simple as many people believe, which is why it makes sense to consult with a marital agreements lawyer prior to tying the knot. No one wants to be saddled with someone else’s student loans in the event of a divorce.
In most cases, debt that is brought into the marriage will remain the separate obligation of the borrower, even after the marriage is in play. That means that a spouse who marries someone with a huge student loan burden does not have to be concerned about having to pay down some of that debt if the marriage should end. However, student loan debt that is taken on during a marriage is a different matter.
Once a couple is married, student loans become the shared property of both spouses. This is treated the same as debt taken on for the purposes of buying a house, opening a business or purchasing a car. That means that in the event of a divorce, the spouses will divide the debt, just as they would any assets.
In order to protect against such an outcome, Florida couples planning to marry should work with a marital agreements lawyer to discuss how to structure a prenup that specifically addresses student loan debt. That way, if one spouse borrows to pay for his or her education, but the marriage ends before those loans are repaid, then the debt will go to the person who went to school, and not the other party. That seems like a fair outcome to most people who are preparing to wed.
Source: wisebread.com, “Does Divorce Affect Your Student Loans?“, Ashley Eneriz, Nov. 8, 2016