When a person goes through divorce, one of his or her main concerns is what the future will look like. This may be a concern for you as well as you consider your finances and the potential impact of your divorce. Will you be able to pay your bills? Will you struggle to make ends meet? How can you manage your loan payments on your own?
Like many in California, you may have left college with a significant amount of student loan debt. Student loans are a part of life for many people, and while married, you and your spouse may have shared the cost of these payments. However, now that your marriage is over, what does that mean for the amount you owe? Is your spouse responsible for any of it? It will help to learn about property division and what to expect from your financial future.
The basics of property division
In divorce, all marital property is eligible for division between the two spouses. This means you and your spouse will have to divide anything bought, earned or obtained while married. This also applies to marital debt. In the same way, anything bought, accumulated or earned before marriage is separate property, including student loan debt you had before you walked down the aisle.
But what does it mean if you acquired your student loan debt after you married? If you used those loans to solely cover your books, tuition and educational needs, it is probably your responsibility to pay these debts. This may not be the case, however, if you used your loans to pay for living expenses with your spouse. He or she may share some responsibility for it.
Factors to consider
If you believe that your spouse does have some responsibility in helping pay off your student loans, you have the right to fight for that in court. The court will consider things such as your spouse's role in your education, his or her income, whether you earned your degree, and other factors.
Of course, if your spouse co-signed your student loans, both parties are responsible for making payments. The court may have to determine exactly how much each party should have to pay. Regardless of how financially complex your divorce is, you have the right to pursue a post-divorce future that is stable, financially secure and allows you to move forward with confidence.