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What happens to my student loan debt after a divorce?

During a divorce proceeding, marital assets and liabilities are subject to equitable distribution. This means that assets and debts acquired during the marriage belong to both parties in the eyes of the law, and they should be divided equally between the former husband and wife. While you might think that this rule might not apply to an individual debt such as student loans, unfortunately for many couples, it does.

In Florida, student loan debts are subject to equitable distribution so long as the parties were married when the debt accrued. This applies even if one party derives no benefit from the debt later. For example, if you got married while in college or graduate school and took out student loans to pay for tuition, cost of living, and other expenses, your spouse would also be liable for your debt in the event that you divorced, even though your former spouse may no longer reap the benefits of your financed education (such as greater income).

This might be beneficial to you if you are the one whose education was paid for with student loans, because it would effectively divide your debt. That’s not to suggest that you should get a divorce to pay off your student loans quicker, of course—they are still non-dischargeable (meaning they cannot be eliminated through a bankruptcy proceeding), and your ex may not even be able to keep up with your payments, which would set you back even further financially.

Divorces can be complex proceedings when assets and liabilities are involved, even if you have more debts than assets. If you think you might be ready to move forward with a divorce or other legal matter, you should seek representation from an experienced attorney immediately. At the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller, we offer free phone consultations to potential clients in all of our areas of practice.

In addition to divorce matters, our firm also takes on cases involving custody battles, relocation issues, domestic violence injunctions, will and probate, criminal defense, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. While our main office is in Gainesville, we also handle family law matters through our satellite offices in Ocala, Chiefland, Lake City, and Palatka.

For help with your legal issue, contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free phone consultation at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com

BY: Monica Perez-McMillen, Attorney at Law

August 1, 2012

 
 
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