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Divorce and student loan debt, part 2: making payments on your own

Let's pick up the thread of the discussion we began last week on student loan debt and divorce.

For many young couples, this is an issue involving tens of thousands of dollars. As we noted in our May 29 post, the general rule in Arizona is that there is joint responsibility for debt incurred within - but not before - marriage.

In this part of the post, we will consider the impact that this may have on recent graduates who have become accustomed to receiving help from a spouse with student loan payments.

Understandably, it can be challenging for someone who received such assistance during marriage to make the payments on their own.

The Wall Street Journal reported on this recently. If you are facing this type of challenge, it may be necessary to seek a change in the repayment terms from your lender.

For example, you could request that the term of the loan be extended in exchange for a reduction in payments.

To be sure, this would mean making payments on the loan for a longer period of time. But this may still be the best way for you to shoulder full responsibility for student loan debt that you incurred before marriage.

The question of responsibility for student loan debt inevitably becomes more complicated when the debt was taken out during marriage. That is why it makes sense to discuss your rights and options with a knowledgeable family law attorney.

To learn more about our practice, please visit our page on property division.

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