When a married couple decides to get divorced, most of their shared assets are divided between both parties. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, meaning the court splits marital property fairly between spouses but not necessarily 50/50. This includes debts. Any assets owned prior to the marriage are considered separate property, while any assets or debts acquired during the length of the marriage are considered marital property (no matter which spouse acquired them). If you are just beginning the divorce process, you might wonder what will happen to your or your spouse’s student loans. No need to panic because our knowledgeable law firm is here to help! Read this blog to learn more or find out how a Division of Assets and Debts Lawyer in Mansfield, MA can provide individualized legal counseling today.
WHAT HAPPENS TO STUDENT LOANS DURING A DIVORCE?
This depends on when the student loans were acquired. If your spouse obtained the student loans before you were married, then those debts are your spouse’s separate responsibility. Your ex-spouse will be the only person liable for their separate property after the divorce. However, in some cases, a spouse acquired student loan debts during the length of the marriage. In this scenario, the student loan debts would be considered marital property, and therefore, both spouses can be liable for this debt.
WHAT IF I CO-SIGNED THE LOAN?
If you co-signed on any of your spouse’s loans, then you’ll still be liable for payments even after the divorce. This is true even if the loan was acquired before the marriage and is technically separate property. If your ex-spouse doesn’t pay off their loans, you could be responsible for paying them off down the line.
Thankfully, there are a few ways you can legally remove yourself from this responsibility. If you qualify, you can likely refinance in your own name. You can also find a lender that allows co-signers, preferably a lender that offers a quick co-signer release.
HOW ARE DEBTS TYPICALLY SPLIT IN A MASSACHUSETTS DIVORCE?
Marital debts are split reasonably and fairly between spouses based on a large number of factors, such as the length of the marriage and each spouse’s income. However, many spouses are now choosing to make financial decisions on their own with the help of a mediator, divorce lawyer, or another legal professional. This is beneficial if you and your spouse want to come up with an agreement yourselves without relying on a judge to make the final decision. You can contact a divorce attorney to determine your option.
Are you considering filing for a Massachusetts divorce? Are you seeking a compassionate divorce attorney who has your best interests in mind? Look no further because the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley are on your side! Contact our highly experienced team today for an initial consultation.