Understanding How Divorce Affects Student Loan Debt
Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means marital property and debt are divided by what is seen as fair and equitable. Determining what is “fair and equitable” is the difficult part, as the division can break down in many ways. This is particularly true when it comes to student loan debt, since one spouse may have supported another through school and thus may not feel responsible for paying on that debt.
At Rowe Law Offices, P.C., our attorneys offer a free initial consultation to help you understand the proper division of student loan debt. We have an office in Wyomissing and an office in Lancaster.
The Question Of Whose Debt
The “equitable” division of property and debt makes things tricky. What one spouse thinks is fair, the other may not. It is not surprising to walk away with some debt, but you certainly don’t want to take it all, especially when it comes to student loans that may have been necessary to advance your former spouse’s career. Factors to consider include:
- What the loans were used for, such as tuition and supplies vs. living expenses for the family while one spouse was in grad school
- Did the person actually finish school and obtain a degree?
- How much did the loan — and the education it made possible — affect the family’s standard of living?
- What is the current earning power of each spouse? Can one even afford to share loan payments?
Our trusted divorce lawyers can help you answer these questions given your situation and identify marital and nonmarital debt. We will do our due diligence to ensure that you won’t walk away owing more than you should.