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Are Alabama spouses liable for ex’s student loans after divorce?

Many people may decide to further their education before or during their marriage. These folks usually end up taking out student loans to fund their education. When it comes time for divorce, are Alabama spouses responsible for their ex’s student loans?

Usually, student loan debt that occurred before getting married is considered a separate liability. A woman ended up being stuck with all of her student loan debt after she divorced from her husband. Since her ex was not responsible for the debt she incurred, she was forced to make some changes to her debt so that she could afford the monthly payments. However, student loans that were taken out during the marriage may be even more of a complicated situation.

Student loan debt may be divided after a divorce based on the state the spouses reside in. Also, just because a spouse was not listed on the loan does not mean that he or she is not responsible for paying for it. Courts may take into consideration each spouse’s financial circumstances on paying off the debt. The higher-earning spouse may be required to pay the debt through spousal support for a temporary time period.

Student loan debt can be a challenging circumstance, especially when dealing with divorce. Understandably, student loans do not just go away on their own, and the debt must be paid somehow. The Alabama family court system typically resolves these types of matters and decides who will be responsible for paying the student loans regardless of which spouses took the loan out in the first place.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Who Is Responsible for the Student Loans After Divorce?”, Charlie Wells, April 13, 2014