In the state of Texas, all assets – and debt – are divided equally during the division of property in divorce. The same rules that apply to dividing assets and property apply to dividing debt.
This includes student loans.
The graduating class of 2015 carries an average student loan debt of just under $35,000 a piece. Many people will spend decades paying this back. If they divorce from their spouse during that time, it is critical that they know exactly how it will be handled in family law court.
Here’s what you need to know:
All debts and assets held between Texas couples are considered marital property. They are to be split equally. If you can prove that it is separate property, you can argue for a debt or asset to be held out or exempt from the division.
For student loans to be considered separate property, you need to provide clear evidence that will convince a judge that the debt was acquired before the marriage and did not influence any marital debts or assets.
If the student debt was acquired while the couple was together, the court still has some discretion in dividing it. Judges ofen consider how the student loans were used. For instance, was the money entirely spent on books, tuition and other fees directly related to classes and enrollment? Or was some of the loan spent on living expenses and other payments that may have supported both individuals during that time?
An attorney can help you determine the most advantageous manner of dealing with the debt.