IfI paid for my wife’s student loans instead of my own and we are now getting divorced, can I get reimbursed for this money?

UPDATED: Dec 3, 2011

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IfI paid for my wife’s student loans instead of my own and we are now getting divorced, can I get reimbursed for this money?

I have $30,000 in student loans (I accumulated this before marriage) and have been married for 2 years (will divorce my wife soon). She went back to school while we were married (master’s) and finished. Her tuition was $20,000 which I paid in cash (I was working, she was not) instead of paying my debt off. Can I sue her for this money (preferably together with divorce papers) or transfer $20,000 of my debt to her name (federal student loans)? Is this possible? What is the best way to go about this?

Asked on December 3, 2011 under Family Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Discuss this matter with your family or divorce law attorney. You cannot sue her for  the money or automatically transfer your debt to her name--or rather, you might be able to IF there had been a pre-existing agreement with her that would allow this. But without such an agreement, there are no grounds for the suit or the transfer--you voluntarily chose to pay her schooling.

That said, it may that you can get your contributions to her education taken into account during the divorce, to adjust either the distribution of assets and/or the support (if any) you would pay her (or the support you may receive from her, if appropriate). That is why you need to discuss the situation in detail with experienced counsel.

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