Am I responsible for half of my husband’s student loans after divorce?

Husband owes 80,000 in student loans. We live in NY and are getting a divorce.
Am I responsible for half of the loan?

Asked on March 11, 2017 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In some states, student loans are deemed to be the sole responsibility of the borrower, since the degree stays with that person. In others, it has been determined that higher education benefits the couple and not just the student. In jurisdictions where student loans can be considered marital debt, the length of the marriage after the degree was attained, the benefit received by the other spouse may be important factors in determining liability for the debt. That having been said, you will not be liable to anyone for the repayment of the student loan, other than perhaps your husband as determined by the terms of the divorce degree. In other words, as to third parties (i.e. banks, government guarantors of such loans, etc.), you will have no responsibility unless you co-signed or otherwise agreed to be responsible for the debt.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In some states, student loans are deemed to be the sole responsibility of the borrower, since the degree stays with that person. In others, it has been determined that higher education benefits the couple and not just the student. In jurisdictions where student loans can be considered marital debt, the length of the marriage after the degree was attained, the benefit received by the other spouse may be important factors in determining liability for the debt. That having been said, you will not be liable to anyone for the repayment of the student loan, other than perhaps your husband as determined by the terms of the divorce degree. In other words, as to third parties (i.e. banks, government guarantors of such loans, etc.), you will have no responsibility unless you co-signed or otherwise agreed to be responsible for the debt.


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