Am I liable for a student loan that my wife received 15 years before we ever met?

My wife received a student loan in KY where is lived with her first husband during the time she attended college. She had been divorced for several years before we met. We moved to TX and were married which is where we now live. The debt is close to 20 years old and I had no idea of this loan before we married, am I liable for this debt?

Asked on March 20, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that debts incurred prior to the marriage remain with the spouse who incurred them.  In other words, the other spouse is not liable for the premarital debts of the other spouse. Spouses should keep separate financial records; they should do their best to use separate assets (as opposed to jointly held assets) to pay off any premarital debts.  That having been said, since community property laws differ from state-to-state, it is advisable for you to consult directly with an attorney in your area who can review the details of your case.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that debts incurred prior to the marriage remain with the spouse who incurred them.  In other words, the other spouse is not liable for the premarital debts of the other spouse. Spouses should keep separate financial records; they should do their best to use separate assets (as opposed to jointly held assets) to pay off any premarital debts.  That having been said, since community property laws differ from state-to-state, it is advisable for you to consult directly with an attorney in your area who can review the details of your case.

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