There are numerous financial issues to consider before filing for divorce. A couple may focus on divvying up their assets, but debts also need to be considered during the process. As an equitable distribution state, Florida courts do not necessarily divide marital property equally, but both assets and debts will be allocated in a manner in which the judge deems to be fair. Those with student loans might be expected to share in those obligations based on various criteria.
One of the most important issues for determining joint responsibility for one spouse's student debt is the timing of the loans being taken out. If the loans preceded marriage, the individual with the loans would bear sole responsibility. If the loans were incurred during marriage, both parties could be required to pay. There are some situations in which married couples may have consolidated their student loans to obtain better interest rates. In such cases, both parties are held responsible, even if the original loans were taken out prior to marriage. This is because the new loan bears the date on which it was incurred.
Prenuptial agreements can help to pre-determine the manner in which debts such as student loans will be handled if a marriage ends. Additionally, a couple might want to use a collaborative approach to divorce to ensure that both parties have a say in the outcome. Similarly, mediation allows a couple to work together to achieve a reasonable divorce settlement, which could facilitate a better level of agreement over financial terms.
Hillsborough County property division attorneys can provide an individual with an evaluation of the potential financial implications of divorce. They may assist with identifying hidden assets or debts to ensure that the full financial picture is available before an agreement is reached.