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Are Student Loans Divided in a Texas Divorce?

 Posted on June 22, 2024 in Divorce

Denton County, TX divorce lawyerStudent loans are becoming an increasingly hot-button issue in the United States. Around 43 million American taxpayers — or about 13 percent of the population —  collectively owe approximately $1.74 trillion in student debt. The average household owes an estimated $55,347 in student loans, though the number fluctuates depending on the degree and institution.

People who get divorced often want to know what will happen to their student debt. After all, community property — possessions that either spouse acquires during the marriage — is divided in a divorce. Is debt also divided? And if so, how?

The short answer is that community debt is divided in a divorce. To find out how your specific debt will be affected, consult a Texas community debt attorney.

What Is Community Debt?

Community debt refers to financial obligations that either spouse incurs during the marriage and that benefit both parties. Examples of community debt include:

  • Mortgages

  • Credit card debt

  • Car loans

  • Medical debt

Texas law requires judges to divide community property and debt in a way that is “just and right.” This is a very vague phrase, so debt division is often subject to the judge’s discretion. That is why, when dividing property or debt, divorce courts often make decisions on a case-by-case basis. For example, your spouse may have purchased a house towards the end of the marriage and now has mortgage payments to make on that home. If you never set foot in that home or benefited from it, however, you may not be obligated to share that debt.

Are Student Loans Divided?

Student loans may or may not be considered community debt, depending on the circumstances. For example:

  • If you took out student loans before you were married, it may be considered separate debt and your spouse does not have to share it.

  • However, if you dropped out of school to be a stay-at-home parent and homemaker, your spouse may be ordered to pay back some of your loans.

  • If you obtained your degree that helped you land a job that brought in more income for your household, your attorney can argue that your student loans are marital debt for which your spouse shares responsibility.

Keep in mind that even if your student loans are considered community debt, it does not mean they will be divided equally. Depending on your economic situation and how much your schooling benefited your spouse, you may still bear the brunt of the financial obligation.

Contact a Denton County, TX Community Debt Attorney

There are arguments to be made for and against your student loans being considered community debt and being divided in a divorce. Hire a Prosper, TX community debt lawyer who will make the right argument for you in court. At Pfister Family Law, we have over 20 years of experience and are familiar with how judges view a variety of cases. Let our skilled attorneys handle your divorce and we will fight aggressively to minimize your community debt as much as possible. Call 972-954-6455 to get started today.

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