Financial issues can add strain and stress to a couple already facing marital problems. For many modern couples, however, one particular kind of financial issue is fueling their decision to divorce: Student loan debt. According to recent research, as many as 1 in 8 couples report that student loan debt had a direct impact on their divorce.
Why is this the case, and what happens to student loan debt after a divorce? Our Granite Bay divorce attorneys at Myers Family Law can help you navigate the often complex process of property division, and provide you with skilled and compassionate assistance for any financial matters related to your divorce – including how to deal with existing student loan debt.
The Role of Student Loan Debt on Modern Marriages
Student loan debt has reached astronomical new heights in 2018. The national student loan debt burden currently stands at $1.5 trillion, which is already 50% higher than in 2012, and nearly $400 million more than the total consumer debt for motor vehicles. Given that the average student loan debt is now $40,000, it’s possible that some of today’s students will be paying off their debt well into their forties.
That kind of debt can put serious pressure on any relationship, and if you’re already having existing problems in your marriage, massive amounts of student loan debt could be the last straw. Additionally, many spouses may choose to put their own careers on hold while their partner pays for expensive additional schooling. Then, when the plan changes, the couple may be burdened with thousands in debt, and the supporting partner may decide they’ve had enough.
What Happens to Student Loan Debt in Divorce?
Ultimately, the name on the loan is the only one that will matter after your divorce proceedings, at least when it comes to legal and financial responsibility for the loan. However, if you’ve assisted your soon-to-be ex with paying off their debt, or put your own educational plans on hold, you may be able to argue that you deserve reimbursement alimony for your efforts to help them.
With reimbursement spousal support, you may be able to receive either a lump sum or a series of payments, to compensate for any expenses you covered while your spouse was in school. Although this is typically only awarded soon after the degree has been completed, in some cases you may be able to receive at least part of the degree value.
Compassionate Representation for Complex Divorce Issues
At Myers Family Law, our Granite Bay divorce lawyers know how difficult it can be to go through a divorce while paying off student debt, or worrying about your future financial situation. When you work with our skilled team, you can rely on our Bar Certified Family Law Specialist and Certified Mediator to help you smooth over some of the most difficult and painful issues. We are committed to being responsive and available for all of our clients, so if you have any questions about how student loan debt will work after your divorce, we’re here to help you answer them.
Schedule a consultation today! Call (916) 634-0067 for a low-cost, 30 minute consultation.