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Student loan debt has become a substantial factor in many adults’ lives. In 2019, outstanding student loan debt reached an all-time high of $1.41 trillion and, currently, 54% of Americans hold some form of student loan debt. As such, it’s not surprise that many divorcing couples wonder if it will affect their divorce.

Division of Property

California is a community property state, which means all assets and debts accumulated during a marriage are considered to be jointly owned assets between a married couple. This often includes debt acquired by either party during the marriage.

Conversely, separate property is any assets acquired by the individual prior to marriage. Student loans are usually considered separate property; this is especially true if either party acquired the loans before they were married. However, a California court may consider student loan debt to be part of community property under a few circumstances.

For example, a court may consider student loan debt as community property if:

  • either spouse took out the debt while married; and/or
  • both spouses benefited from the loan (the loan contributed to rent or other essential housing expenses).

In California, a court usually keeps student loan debt as separate property. The person whose name and personal information is on the loan paperwork will continue to be responsible for it after the divorce.

Helping You Divide Marital Assets

At Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, our divorce attorneys will work with you to divide your assets amicably. We understand the potential challenges of asset division and will do everything we can to attempt a swift resolution.

If you are interested in scheduling a complimentary consultation with us, please call (760) 722-7646 or complete our online contact form.