Student loans are just another part of life for many working professionals. But while they might not be uncommon, student loans can be confusing to address during divorce. In some situations, Minnesota couples may have to divide student loans like other types of marital debts. In others, only one person is responsible for repayment. Like other complicated divorce issues, getting things right during property division is important.

Those who attended college before getting married will usually end up taking their student loans with them after divorce. In general, assets and debts acquired before marriage are considered separate property. Separate property is not included in property division and stays with its respective owner.

Taking out a student loan after marriage is a little different. If the loan is in both partners’ names, then both can be held legally responsible for repayment regardless of who actually gets the debt in the divorce. If the loan is only in one person’s name, then he or she may be more likely to end up with that debt even if it is otherwise considered marital property.

Around 45 million people in America have student loans, many of whom in Minnesota are already married. On average, people who file for divorce do so the first time at age 30. Paying off student loans can take many years and sometimes even decades, so getting things right can have long term implications for divorcing couples in this age group.

Dividing complicated marital debts is a significant undertaking. There may be different legal obligations when it comes to repaying debts, meaning that a creditor could still come after the person who did not get a particular debt during property division. Whether dealing with student loans, credit card balances or other debt, seeking guidance from experienced legal counsel is strongly advised.