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Dealing with student loan debt in a divorce

by | Apr 15, 2020 | Blog, Divorce |

Florida couples who get a divorce may have debts they need to divide as well as assets. One question that may arise is who will be responsible for any student loans. With 45 million Americans carrying student loans and the average age of a first divorce at around 30, this is not an uncommon scenario.

If both people took out loans prior to getting married, most of the time, each person will be responsible for their own debts. Since Florida is not a community property state, even if the debts were taken out after the marriage, the loan will most likely remain with the person who borrowed the money. However, if any of the loans are in the names of both individuals, they may both be held responsible for them.

This could be the case if the couple consolidated their student loans into one although this has not been permitted since 2006. Both might also be responsible if one person signed for the other person’s loans. For those who are struggling to pay off student loans after divorce, there may be some forms of relief available depending on the type of loan and the person’s situation. These include refinancing, forbearance, deferment or an income-based repayment plan.

One issue that may arise when people are dividing any type of debt in a divorce is that while the divorce settlement may say that they are splitting it, creditors will pursue the person whose name is on the debt. It may be possible to return to court to try to compel the other person to pay, but this can be expensive and time-consuming. As a result, people may want to try to negotiate a settlement that addresses this. This might involve moving some debt into the other spouse’s name or having one person take a larger share of assets.


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