He was advised that he is responsible for half of my student loans I took out during our marriage, loans that I am currently repaying.
Am I responsible for his that he started last year and is continuing to add to each semester? They are not in repayment. He also gets tuition reimbursement from work for his loans but hasn't paid towards them as they are not in repayment.
We live in Florida.
Not necessarily one half of the student loans. The court could make him responsible for one half, but to try to actually "enforce" that judgment will be difficult. The same would go for you if the Court would order you to pay for one half or part of his student loans. The debts which are incurred by both of you from date of marriage and (usually) until the date of your separation are the ones considered.
Alejandro R. Lopez, Esq.
Law Office of Alejandro R. Lopez, P.A.
4465 Edgewater Dr.,
Orlando, Fla. 32804
Ph.: (407) 649-1404
E-mail: [email protected]
Whether or not you and your husband are responsible for each other's student loan debt is an issue for the court to address in the event that a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed. When the court equitably divides marital property and liabilities, the court will take into account many factors. Without a complete picture of the financial situation in your marriage, it's hard to even speculate what a court may do or what you can reasonably expect in terms of dividing up student loan debt.
This response does not constitute, imply, or create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is for educational purposes only and not as legal advice.
Students loans are technically marital debt like any other debt, and they are often treated that way in a Florida divorce (and I assume you are asking this question for divorce purposes). But student loans aren't always divided evenly in a Florida divorce. That's because dividing student loans isn't always "equitable." (Remember, Florida is an "equitable distribution" state.)
The argument against dividing student loans goes like this: suppose we have a husband who goes to law school for $300,000 in loans, starts a lucrative multimillion dollar practice, then gets immediately divorced. The law says the student loan is marital and should be split, but then shouldn't the wife get half the multi-million dollar practice? But should she get half the practice for free while he has to work for the money? And doesn't Florida law forbid non-lawyers from owning law firms? (Yes, it does.) Because of these kinds of issues and more, student loans are often not equitably divided in Florida divorces.
The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy), and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you'd like actual legal advice, call me for a free consultation at 813-635-0222. Also, if you liked this answer as much as my big ego thinks you did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button!
I think you also need to look at this from the Dept of Ed's standpoint. If your husband isn't on the note, he may not be responsible for your loans, despite what local State law says (and vice versa). This might be worth a call to Dept of Ed Ombudsman to find out how collections work in your state. These loans are governed by Federal law - that may be enough to override how the state would treat this in divorce. You might even ask for the answer to be put in writing to be used in a divorce if that is where this is going.
Remember, the agreement between the two of you for divorce has no bearing on the obligation with the lender. If only your name is on the note and the decree says he is half liable, the lender will not go after him - they will only go after you. You would have to sue to have the decree enforced in order to get the half payments he should have made (assuming he doesn't make them).
While I am the Student Loan Lawyer, the information I provide is not legal advice nor is there an attorney client relationship created. If you would like more information about me or my firm, please visit my website - www.TheStudentLoanLawyer.com.
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