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Student loan debt and property division during divorce

When most people think about divorce, they think of having to divide assets. In some divorces, it is also necessary to divide significant debts. Just as not all assets are created equally, not all debts are created equally when it comes to a divorce. Residents of Arlington might wonder how student loan debt would be divided up during a divorce. The short answer to that question is "it depends."

Unlike some debts, whether or not the student loan debt is considered a debt that must be divided depends upon several factors. One factor is how the loan money was used. If the loan money was used strictly for tuition, books and school-related expenses, it is likely to be considered a separate spousal debt that won't be divided. If the loan money was used for household expenses, chances are good that it will be considered a debt that can be divided.

Other factors that are usually used to determine if student loan debt can be divided during a divorce include whether a degree was earned, if the degree is considered marital property, the earning power of the spouse with the degree, who benefited from the degree and how long the person benefited from the degree. Once these factors are determined, it can usually lead to a decision about whether or not the student loan debt should be divided or assumed by the spouse who obtained the degree.

While most people consider the division of assets a normal part of the divorce process, many people forget that division of debt must also be considered. If you are considering a divorce, consulting with an experienced Texas divorce attorney might help you to determine exactly how assets and debts should be divided.

Source: Forbes, "Are Student Loans Incurred During The Marriage Considered Marital Debt?" Jeff Landers, Dec. 17, 2013

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