Can I be held responsible for student loan debt that was acquired before the marriage even though we were living together?

Student loans were acquired within the first 2
years of the relationship. We were not
married. We married about 5-6 years later. I
am being asked to help pay off the loans now
that we are getting divorced.

Asked on November 1, 2019 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

No, you are responsible for the loans. First, you do not write that you cosigned for them; as a general matter, only a person who signs for or takes responsibility for loans is liable for them. Second, while WA is a "community property" state and each spouse becomes liable for the other spouse's debts incurred during marriage (they split the debt 50-50), you write that this debt was incurred pre-marriage--the loans were taken out years before you married. Therefore, they are not a "community debt" and you are not responsible for them.


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