What happens with student loans in a Florida Divorce?
Generally, If your student loans were borrowed during the marriage, then they are considered to be a "marital debt", and subject to be divided between the spouses equally through equitable distribution. Florida Statute §61.075 provides the specific methonds used by the Court to determine, and distribute marital assets and debts.
Except in some specific circumstances, if one party borrows money to go to college during the marriage, both parties are responsible for paying back half of that loan through the divorce.
How is that fair? One party is effectively getting an education at half price, as they only have to pay back half of their student loans.
First of all, Florida divorce courts realize that student loan debt is rarely used strictly for educational purposes. The money borrowed during an educational period is just as often used to replace the income that is lost due to the student spouse's temporary unemployment, and is spent on things like food, clothing, and rent. The theory is that both spouses extracted a benefit from that loan, and therefore both have to pay it back.
Secondly, if one spouse's income increases significantly as a result of their education, the other spouse is likely to enjoy that income increase through alimony or another type of support.
In some circumstances, student loans can be distributed unequally, meaning that one party is responsible for paying more than 50% of the debt. This can be done by a Court at trial, or through an agreement between the parties and their attorneys. If you are in a marriage with a substantial amount of student debt, this is something that you should allow your attorney to explore thoroughly.
Sarasota divorce courts, and Sarasota divorce attorneys know that Florida Student loans are not always able to be divided fairly through a Florida divorce. Talk to one of our attorneys today about how you might be able to shift the balance in your favor. Call us at (941) 404-8908