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Why do I have to pay for half of my we ex-wifes student loans when I never benefited from them?

Tampa, FL |
Filed under: Divorce

She never worked in her field of study until years after our divorce. The only time I would have benefited from the loans was when she received stipend checks so why do should i have to help her pay the entire loan?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Marital debt is debt accumulated by the spouses during the course of the marriage and often may include student loans. Under Florida law, equitable distribution of marital debt is required during a dissolution of marriage proceeding.


  2. Any asset acquired, or liability incurred, is considered marital if acquired/incurred during the marriage under Florida statute as it is an equitable distribution state.


  3. All loans incurred during the marriage are considered "marital" pursuant to F.S. 61.075. This certainly creates a level of unfairness in a lot of my cases. The unfairness is multiplied when you incorporate the case law which says you cannot put a valuation on the degree she earned through those loans. The degree can only be helpful to your case in that it increases her earning potential for purposes of alimony and child support. For equitable distribution purposes though, you are likely on the hook for half in the overall scheme...hopefully you didn't co-sign.

    Communication of information by this answer and your receipt or use of it (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter.


  4. the legal presumption is that debts incurred during the marriage are marital however if her name is on the loan ultimately if not paid they will go after her and not you.


  5. Basically, if the debt was accumulated during the marriage, it is considered "marital" debt, and both parties are responsible for same. Just as both parties would share in income or assets accumulated during the marriage, this loan is viewed as a marital debt because it was a decision during the marriage, and you are both therefore on the hook. If the parties mediate, they can agree to whatever terms they want, so your best chance of avoiding that would be if you could get your wife to agree to it.

    Please note that this answer is not to be intended as legal advice, nor does it constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you would like to discuss the issue further, I do offer free phone consultations and would be happy to speak with you in greater detail than these questions and answers allow. Best of luck to you!

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