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

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years 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.

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 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.

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