How are student loans split during divorce?


Student loans are currently the largest held debt by Americans outside of mortgages. Just a couple of years ago, student loans passed over credit cards as the second largest debt for Americans. With that being said, there are millions of people that have taken on student loan debt both before and during a marriage. Student loans are a unique form of debt that is backed by the United States government. Unlike a lot of other forms of debt, this debt can never go away even in bankruptcy. Student loans can be taken out either in one person’s name or jointly. This is where we can answer the question about how student loans are split in the event of divorce.

What are Student Loans

Student loans are generally loans borrowed while a person is in school to pay for books, housing, or school tuition. When taking out student loans it is important to remember that they have to be paid back with interest. Many times parents will help children pay for school by taking out loans in the parents name. When two people are married and they come in to the marriage with student loan debt, the student loan debt is still in the original person’s name unless that is changed after the fact. If people are married and someone starts to go to school again, married couples have the option to either borrow jointly or separately.

How are student loans split during a divorce?

For many people, outside of their homes student loans are the largest liability that they own. This means that tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars can be at stake in a divorce proceeding where student loans are involved. It is important that when going through a divorce you do no make any assumptions when it comes to student loans and who is going to take on their debt. By making assumptions that may or may not be grounded in facts, you risk taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that you may not have to.


Overall, divorce is something that we all hope to avoid but is sometimes a necessary endeavor. When it comes to student loans, outside of a house this can often be the largest dollar figure in the divorce proceedings. It is important to get the advice of a lawyer concerning student loans before going in to the trial in order to maximize what you may or may not have to pay back.

If you find yourself asking: “how are student loans split during a divorce?”, contact one of our Seal Beach family law attorneys for fair legal representation. Call 562-431-4333 or contact us online today.

From offices in Seal Beach, the Law Office of Ann A. Thomson serves clients throughout Southern California in communities such as Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Norwalk, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes and Los Angeles.
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