College debt continues to be a major burden for Americans everywhere, and recents stats have shown that most college grads carry over $30,000 in debt by the time they hit the workforce. This can complicate things in marriages and divorce proceedings because, as we have seen time and time again, finances are often a major source of resentment and conflict between spouses.
Today we want to talk about how an ex’s student loan burden can impact your life, even after divorce. As always, remember that this post is no substitute for qualified legal counsel. if you want advice specific to your situation, you should consult with a qualified legal professional. For now, here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know in order to protect yourself from unwanted or unexpected debt.
Student Loans and Divorce Proceedings
In California, any debt that was accrued before the marriage is considered separate property.. So if your ex came into the marriage with student loans under their belt, you can generally expect to be off the hook, as this burden is his or hers alone.
However, things get tricky if you opted to help them pay their debt, especially if you consolidated the debt after you got married. This could shift the debt to community property, which means that it would be split evenly during your divorce proceedings. On the other hand, if you contributed to your spouse’s student loan debt or educational costs while you were married to each other, it’s possible that you might be able to subtract this amount from your ex’s share of the assets in order to help compensate for your expenses.
The division of assets is always a tricky affair, and no two divorce proceedings will play out the same. However, a prenuptial agreement can offer some protection. This is a great way for both parties to shield themselves from unwanted debt in the event of a divorce, and despite popular belief, could lead to a stronger marriage, one where both couples are open about their wishes, concerns, and long-term goals.
Consult With A Knowledgeable CA Divorce Attorney
Even without a prenuptial agreement in place, it is still possible for you and your ex to come to a mutual agreement on the division of debts and assets during mediation! Regardless of the path you take, you should always have access to qualified and trusted legal counsel.
If you need to speak with a divorce attorney, know that we at Law Office of James P. White are just a phone call away. We offer initial consultations, so don’t hesitate to call at your earliest convenience.