In Texas, one or both spouses may be carrying student loan debts when they get divorced. There is some question as to who is responsible for the payment of these debts. The issue is subject to some bright-line rules but is not always easy to settle depending on the state.
The spouse whose name is on the loan is generally responsible to make the payments, even after divorce. This becomes more complicated when one spouse has taken out a loan during the marriage and the other co-signed on it. This is more common in the event of private loans.
However, in community property states, which Texas is one, there is a different rule. This means that when the couple divorces, all assets and debts are usually divided evenly between the two spouses. This calculation involves student loans, too. This can be a double-edged sword for spouses. Some may get relief because the other spouse is responsible now to pay part of their student loans. Others may find themselves hit by the fact that they now have to pay for a loan that they did not borrow in the first place. The only way to get out of paying someone else’s debt is to show the court that the debt was acquired before the marriage and was not influenced by marital assets.
This all means that individuals will need legal help because the issue of division of debt may have a profound impact on their financial future. A divorce attorney may be of assistance to advocate their client’s position both in the divorce negotiations and if the case goes to court. Their client’s financial future might be riding on the outcome of the question of who must pay the student loan debt.