To go through a divorce is to split all your assets and debts. As you decide who will pay for what and who gets what, the subject of student loan debt may come up in conversation. If you both are responsible for other debts, are you also both responsible for your student loans?
The answer is not going to be black and white. U.S. News explains that you may be responsible for all of it or your spouse could have some responsibility too.
When are student loans marital debt?
Student loans become marital debt if you went to school and earned you degree while you were married. Your spouse may have responsibility if any of your student loans went towards shared expenses. If your spouse has similar earning power, then the court may hold him or her responsible for some of the debt, as opposed to those who do not have strong earning power or put their career on hold to support your education. Likewise, if you have private student loans, if your partner cosigned, then he or she has a legal responsibility.
When are student loans separate debt?
Student loans are separate from your marriage if you received your degree before you were married. Any debt that you acquire before your marriage is your debt. If you were married while accepting student loans but only allowed said loans to pay for your education, then the court may still decide it is separate debt. In Massachusetts, you are subject to fair distribution and if your partner did not benefit from your student loans, he or she may not have to pay.