Dividing student loan debt in a divorce

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2016 | Divorce

When Minnesota couples who are ending their marriage think about property division, what comes to mind is usually marital assets. Dividing real estate, investments and cash during the divorce process can be very complicated. What a lot of people don’t think about is that marital debts, including student loans, must be divided as well.

Student loans are one of the greatest sources of debt for many people, so they are often a part of a divorce. Whether one or both spouses have college debt, the debt must be divided in a divorce if it was incurred during the marriage. Any student loan debts that one spouse took on before they were married will be considered that spouse’s separate property.

Minnesota follows the principles of equitable distribution, so marital property as well as student loan debt and other obligations that were incurred during the marriage will be divided between the couple in a manner in which the court deems fair. This means that judges will in some instances take into account the relative incomes of the couple when making these determinations.

A divorce can bring with it quite a bit of emotional stress, and this can often be exacerbated by the financial challenges that can arise at the end of a marriage. Some couples who had the foresight to enter into a prenuptial agreement may be relieved that the issue of student debt and other obligations has been taken care of. For those who did not, their respective attorneys might be able to assist in negotiating a comprehensive settlement agreement that addresses these matters.