Who is obligated to pay student loans in a divorce one or both parties?

My wife and I have been married for 27 years, however she left the household and now is seeking a divorce. She owes $70,000 in student loans. Her and her lawyer are trying to get me to pay one half of these loans that she alone signed for while going to college. What does WV law say about this situation?

Asked on September 21, 2018 under Family Law, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you did not sign for the loans, you are not liable for them. Your state is not a community property state: that means that the debts of one spouse acquired during marriage do NOT automatically become the debts of the other spouse. And even in a community property state, if the debts were acquired pre-marriage, they remain solely the debts of the spouse who took them out. Since you did not sign for or guaranty these loans, you do not have to pay them. You may choose to agree to pay some of them, if in doing so, you get something else you want in the divorce, but that makes them a negotiating point, not an obligation.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.