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Student loan debts: California's laws during divorce

Everyone struggles with different debts during divorce. If you're still paying off student loans, or your spouse has them, then you may be concerned how they will affect you.

It's a reality that divorce is emotionally and financially draining. You need to divide all your assets and debts, and that can include student loans.

When does your ex-spouse have to share in paying off your student loans?

Student loans don't become a joint debt in some cases, like when you have student loans before you were married. In most cases, that separate debt will remain your own following your divorce. However, if you went to school and have debt that originated during your marriage, it may be considered marital debt, and your spouse may be required to cover a portion of that debt.

California typically keeps loans separate, based on the Family Code Part 7, which states that loans incurred during marriage for training or education will not be included in community property, but they will be assigned to the person who took out those loans. There are exceptions to this rule, though, so it's a good idea to talk to your attorney before assuming that you'll have to pay it all on your own.

While California does require people to pay their own loans, if you support your spouse's education, you could still be entitled to reimbursement for those payments that you made since the benefit of that schooling or training will no longer help you in the future.

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