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The implications of student loans in divorce proceedings

When a young student couple gets married in Nevada, they may be interested to know whether a student loan of one spouse becomes the responsibility of both. Divorce may be the furthest thing from the minds of the young couple. However, one spouse’s student loan may have implications should they file for divorce.

The liability of the student loan debt will depend on whether the loan was obtained before the marriage or after the wedding took place. Typically, if the student loan was acquired before the marriage, it will not necessarily be regarded as a joint debt once the marriage takes place. However, in a community property state like Nevada, a student loan acquired after the wedding date, may be regarded a joint liability if the couple decides to file for divorce.

If there is some suggestion that the loan was a joint undertaking, where the lender’s requirement was for credit reports of both spouses, the responsibility of the loan may be the burden of both. There are exceptions to this rule, though. Not all community property states regard debt relating to studies as the responsibility of both spouses. The student loan may be seen as benefiting the individual, rather than the marriage.

The general rule, in a community property state like Nevada, is that assets and liabilities acquired by the couple during the marriage are owned equally. Assets and liabilities acquired by each spouse before the marriage typically belong solely to that spouse. Young couples in Nevada, whether contemplating divorce or not, may want to investigate the different options of guidance available when dealing with matters like this.

Source: Yahoo Finance, Does student debt become joint debt when you get married?, Farnoosh Torabi, Dec. 6, 2013

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