Do student loans count as debts incurred during marriage?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do student loans count as debts incurred during marriage?

I believe I took out about $10,000 for school while I was still married for my final year of school. I believe that some of it is not in my name but I am trying to file for a summary dissolution. Do the student loans count as debt incurred? It is my only debt and some of it is in my mother’s name but I’d have to check.

Asked on July 17, 2017 under Family Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

ASa general rule, student loans are the responsiblity the spouse who obtained the education or training. However, if the community “substantially benefited” from the spouse’s education during marriage, then the loan may be divided and awarded to each spouse equally. Therefore, a judge may also determine that a substantial benefit occurs when the married couple enjoyed a higher standard of living or acquired substantial community assets as a result of the student spouse’s education paid by the student loan debt. If, however, a judge concludes tht the community didn’t substantially benefit, the student spouse will be responsible for the unpaid student loan and may be ordered to reimburse the community for loan payments, plus interest.

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