Going through a divorce can be a long and exhausting process of untangling your intermingled finances, especially if you have considerable debt. Student loans are one of the many factors that you’ll need to factor in once you and your spouse have decided to separate.
Dealing with debts during this time can be challenging. If you are wondering how to manage student loans and divorce, and how it will affect your future, Massachusetts divorce attorney Jay Davis can help. Please call us at 617-221-3548 or leave a message here for information about what your next steps should be. Jay and his legal team at Davis Law Group are committed to providing you the right advice and will help you formulate and pursue the most effective divorce strategy when student loan debt is involved.
Dealing with Student Loans & Divorce in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state. It means that anything — debt and assets — acquired during the marriage may be considered marital/joint property, regardless of which spouse’s name is on the papers. As such, each spouse has a legal claim to a fair and equitable portion of all assets — this may or may not mean a 50-50 split.
Student loans acquired by one spouse before the marriage are typically classified as separate property. But if the loan was acquired during the marriage, it may be considered as “marital debt” based on the situation. For example, if the entire student loan was put toward your school and tuition fees, the judge will most likely consider it as separate debt. In this case, you will be solely responsible for it.
However, if the loan was also used to cover shared living expenses (rent, food, etc.), it’s more likely to fall under marital debt. In this case, your spouse might be held responsible for a portion of it. This portion will be calculated by the judge based on your individual circumstances and Massachusetts laws.
The court will also consider other factors when determining debt allocation, such as the ability of each of you to earn income after the divorce, you and your ex-spouse’s conduct during the marriage, and the length of your marriage. Understanding how much debt you may be saddled with after your divorce is finalized can be tricky, but with Jay Davis and his compassionate legal team on your side, you can be better positioned to move on with your life. Call us at 617-221-3548 or contact us online to set up a free and confidential consultation.
How a Massachusetts Court May Handle the Allocation of Student Loan Debt
If you or your spouse took on a seemingly large loan for an advanced degree, it can be easy to just focus on the astronomical sum you owe. You need to remember that obtaining a degree, especially an advanced one, also comes with monetary value.
Having a degree, in most cases, can open more doors for you in the professional world, which could mean you can earn more money in life. If one spouse supported the other while they went to school, the court may decide to award the supporting spouse some value for their contributions.
This could be in the form of periodic alimony payments or a lump sum amount to provide the supporting spouse with equal opportunity to obtain a degree of their own. With that said, the court may give the supporting spouse an ownership interest in a business or stock options or other valuable property.
At the end of the day, every divorce is as unique as every marriage. When you and your spouse decide to go separate ways and dissolve the marriage, both of you will need to take into account your combined goals and circumstances.
If the student loan was acquired after your marriage, there is a strong chance that you will be allocated some of it by a judge, regardless of whose name the loan is in. This actually goes for all debts — be it medical bills, car payments, or joint credit card debt.
Allow Us to Fight for a Fair Future for You
At Davis Law Group, top Massachusetts divorce lawyer Jay Davis specializes in working outside of the box to help our clients minimize the debt they may walk away with and help them prepare for a successful future.
With over 27 years of experience in Massachusetts family law, Jay has learned that one of the main disruptions in a divorce is the individual’s property rights and their ability to retain control over assets and/or debts. To make sure you don’t face the burden of unfair debt, you need the expertise of someone like Jay.
Our team has strong relationships with reliable forensic accountants and financial advisors in the region, so you can be sure that the division of your property and debts will be fair. At Davis Law Group, our sole focus in divorce and family law is Massachusetts. We are familiar with the court system and all the legal nuances that are likely to have an impact on your case. To schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case consultation with Jay Davis, please call us at 617-221-3548 or fill out this contact form today.
James H. (Jay) Davis III
Thank you for reading. Need to talk? 617-221-3548