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Student loan debt can complicate property division

by | Aug 23, 2018 | Property Division

For Florida couples who are in the middle of negotiating a divorce, student loan debt can play a role. Many people assume that the individual who took out student loans will automatically be obligated to pay the remaining debt. In reality, however, that isn’t always the case. Understanding how student loans are handled during divorce can ease the property division process.

When student loans are taken on prior to marriage, the financial obligation usually rests with the person whose name is on the loans. If student loans are taken on after a couple marries, things become more complicated. The spouse who holds the student loan debt can argue that his or her student loans made it possible for the family to enjoy a high standard of living, and that both spouses benefited and should share the obligation for paying off those loans.

Another potential complication arises if both spouses held student loan debt but chose to consolidate those loans together to simplify repayment. That can make it hard to determine which party owes what. That’s especially true if spouses made vastly different contributions to paying down the consolidated loan.

A recent survey revealed that divorce cases that included student loan debt cost an average of $2,000 more than those in which student loans played no role. Understanding how student loan debt might affect your own Florida divorce is an important part of planning your property division strategy. As with any financial issues, knowing what to expect makes it easier to reach an informed decision.

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