These days the wedding vows move past love and honor, going into the acceptance of any financial burden either brings to the union. For many, this means accepting the thousands of dollars of student loan debt. And all too often, this is how it plays out.
Even though a student loan debt is technically considered an individual debt, meaning it only hold the original party liable for repayment, there are situations in which that changes. For example, say the student loan borrowing spouse gets ill and cannot work or earn a living. The other spouse would be responsible for making sure the payments are made from the income they earn. This may not sound like a legal issue, consider the fact the lender can sue the borrower’s estate (ie. money and wages of the household) for payment.
Matters get more complicated if the couple were to divorce. The division of debts in a marriage are usually the most fought over part of a divorce decree. Neither party wants to be held liable for a larger share than the other, but this is often the exact thing that happens. For example, the borrowing spouse is usually given the entire burden of repaying their student loan debt in a divorce decree. However, if the nonborrowing spouse makes considerably more in income the court could require the nonborrowing party to offer temporary spousal support to help the borrower make their payments.
Both the managing of and division of student loan debt can be complicated matters. Whether you are suffering together in debt or individually, a student loan lawyer can work to lower your payments and may even be able to free you from that debt balance.