Student Loans and Divorce in Arizona
We know that you did not get married thinking about divorce. However, separation is often the best route that a couple can take if they are unable to resolve their differences. We also know that an overwhelming number of Americans have student loan debt.
What happens when divorce and student loan debt intertwine?
Divorce is complicated, especially when it comes to the division of assets because this often means a division of debts as well. Today, we want to discuss the implications of student loan debt and your separation. We recommend seeking help from a knowledgeable and experienced Arizona divorce attorney to help you get through all aspects of your divorce – from child support and custody to division of assets and spousal maintenance.
How could student loan debt affect my Arizona divorce?
The simple answer to this question is that everything affects your divorce, especially when it comes to financials. Getting married inevitably means that your financial life will become intertwined with your spouse’s. Of course, what really matters is that Arizona is a community property state.
What does that mean?
It means that all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is property shared equally by both spouses. Please understand that when it comes to the division of assets in a divorce, debts are also included. Sure, they are not considered assets, but they are not going to disappear just because you are getting a divorce.
You should have a few questions right now?
- What if my student loan debt (or my spouses) was incurred before the marriage?
- What if my student loan debt (or my spouses) was incurred after we were married?
In this state, any debt acquired before marriage is going to be considered separate property. Essentially, separate property is going to be just that – separate before, separate during, and separate after the marriage. Yes, you can see separate property transmuted into community property during the course of the marriage if a spouse comingles their separate property with marital property. However, this is unlikely to happen with student loans.
- If you and your spouse consolidate separate loans into new loans during the marriage, this could transmute the debt into marital debt.
If a student loan was acquired after you got married, this is going to be considered marital debt. In a community property state (like Arizona), this means that debt is going to be divided equally between both parties.
Yes, this means that even if your spouse took out a student loan, got an education, and is making a living off of that education, you are going to be on the line for half of the remaining debt if you get divorced. While this may not seem fair, that is the law in this state and eight others.
The division of assets and debts are just one facet of the divorce process. Please understand that there are other issues that need to be resolved, including child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, and more.
Click here to find out what is a prenuptial agreement and can it be challenged?
An attorney will help all aspects of your divorce
If you are going through a divorce, or think you may be going through one soon, please seek legal assistance to help you. A qualified Arizona divorce lawyer will be able to walk you through all aspects of this process. Above, we briefly touched on just a few of the things that will need to be finalized when you are going through a separation. This is a difficult time for you, and we understand that emotions can get in the way of the legal process. Let your attorney handle this so you can start your life again.