Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
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Dividing education debt in a divorce

Because California is a community property state, you might automatically assume that all debts and all assets a couple has are to be split equally. However, it is important to note that there can still be some assets and debts that are considered the separate property of each spouse. These items may well be outside of the scope of the typical community property provisions. In considering that, you might then automatically assume that debt from student loans are the sole property and responsibility of the person in whose name the loans were taken out.

As explained by Forbes, even though student loans are in one person's name only, they may actually end up being considered marital property in the course of a divorce. A few different factors may be evaluated by a judge or courts in making the determination of whether or not debt associated with one spouse's education is the responsibility of that spouse only or of both spouses.

One big factor that will be looked at is the education the money funded and the subsequent lifestyle that education provided for both people. The ability of both people to earn a living is also a factor. Taxes may also be reviewed to understand any potential tax implication of assigning the debt to one or both people.

If you would like to learn more about how your student loan debt may factor into your overall divorce settlement, please feel free to visit the student loan debt and marital dissolution page of our California family law website.

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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