Do I Still Have to Help My Spouse Pay For Student Loans After We Get Divorced?
Couples getting married in Texas rarely see their marriage as a financial partnership. Yet when a couple gets married, state and federal governments do see their relationship as inherently financial in nature and many laws exist to support a couple financially during their marriage. While couples may not think much of this when they are getting tax breaks during their marriage, later on during divorce, finances can be a major point of conflict because the laws must be followed yet do not necessarily reflect a couple’s lived experience.
Student loans are a great example of this. One spouse may have taken out enormous student loan debt for their personal education while the other spouse worked and put them through school. The spouse who earned the money during the marriage may see it as unfair that they later have to help pay for the student loan debt. Yet Texas is a community property state, which means that all marital assets and debts are seen as belonging equally to both spouses and must be split evenly during divorce. If you are considering divorce in Texas, make sure you understand the law regarding asset and debt division. Bear in mind that this blog does not constitute legal advice and that the best person to answer your questions about your divorce is a Texas divorce attorney.
Is All of My Property Community Property in Texas?
With few exceptions, all the property and debt a couple accumulates during their marriage is seen as community property. The exceptions are:
Gifts and inheritances
Personal property owned by one spouse before the marriage
Property acquired through a personal injury case
Property specifically protected by a prenuptial agreement, such as business income
If property - or debt - does not fall into one of these categories, it is considered marital property and must be divided.
Proving Student Debt is Personal Property
The legal presumption in a divorce case is that any property or debt held by either spouse is marital property unless clear evidence can prove otherwise. If your spouse took out loans during your marriage, you will likely both be required to pay them back - especially if you cosigned on the loan or benefited from funds that were used for living expenses.
However, this does not necessarily mean that you will end up splitting the debt equally, especially if it would potentially affect your ability to make spousal or child support payments.
Call a Plano, TX Debt Division in Divorce Lawyer
Nobody wants to feel stuck with debt that they feel is someone else’s responsibility. At the Law Office of Brian Bagley, our Collin County debt division attorney will work hard to negotiate a fair asset and debt division under Texas law. We will explore all avenues and take your preferences into account so you can secure a favorable divorce settlement. Call us today at (972) 843-7158 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.