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Student loan obligations after divorce

A Colorado court does not necessarily have to divide a couple's marital assets equally during a divorce, but with the principle of equitable distribution, the split should be fair. Similarly, the division of debts should be fair and may vary based on issues such as each party's income and contributions during the marriage. People might think that they would not be responsible for their spouse's student loans, but this could be an incorrect assumption in some cases.

A student loan that was taken out prior to marriage would typically not become the responsibility of the other spouse. However, the obligation for paying student loans that were issued during marriage could belong to both parties in the event of divorce. Additionally, spouses that used a consolidation loan to combine student loans and reduce interest charges would carry permanent responsibility for the loan, even if the original loans were incurred prior to marriage.

Alternative methods of divorce include collaboration and mediation. In both of these scenarios, spouses have the ability to discuss their sides of matters such as repayment of student loans and other debts. It is also important that all other debts be evaluated in connection with financial discussions. Similarly, family assets will be discussed to achieve a complete financial picture. A couple might find that the costs associated with divorce provide reason to reconsider the action.

Before initiating divorce proceedings, it may be helpful for each party to completely review the marital assets and debts. An awareness of issues such as mortgage terms and outstanding credit cards might prompt an individual to work on closing or paying off accounts before filing for divorce. A family law attorney could be helpful in advising a client about the financial side of the process.

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Cooper, Tanis & Armas, P.C.
42 Garden Center
Broomfield, CO 80020