Many of the most successful and affluent professionals in Minnesota have shocking levels of student loan debt. Someone who wants to become an accountant or a surgeon needs to attend expensive institutions of higher education and may walk away with six figures’ worth of student loan debt.
Of course, that debt has paid for an education which generally allows an individual to command a higher salary in the professional world. Still, student loans have a way of complicating many aspects of life, including the processes of buying a home and starting a business. If someone is about to divorce, their student loans may potentially complicate that process as well.
They may contribute to a divorce filing
Sometimes, the lifelong obligation to continue paying on student loan debt creates significant pressure on a marriage. The spouse who does not have as much student loan debt may resent how much of their household income goes to that debt and how it may affect other areas of their life, like the terms of the mortgage for their home. Especially in scenarios where someone does not have a viable repayment plan in place, their student loan debt could potentially contribute to their spouse’s decision to divorce. As many as one in eight divorces may have something to do with student loan debt.
They may be part of the marital estate
Student loans are an example of a debt that people think will be separate but could potentially be the responsibility of both spouses. While only one person will receive the financial benefit of those student loans to pay for their schooling, both may have some responsibility to repay the debt if the student borrowed the money after getting married.
Debts that existed prior to the marriage will remain the separate property of the spouse who owed that money. The student loans taken on during the marriage could very well be part of the marital stay and therefore the responsibility of votes spouses. Even if someone doesn’t end up ordered to help pay the student loans, the total value of the marital that will influence the division of their other assets in the divorce.
Understanding how factors like large student loans may play a role in the property division process in Minnesota can hope those who are anticipating marital dissolution to plan their next steps in informed ways. Connecting with a legal professional can help to ensure that these individuals benefit from any support they may need as well.