Divorce means splitting debts as well as assets, and this may include student loans as well. Student loans obtained prior to the marriage may not be considered shared marital debt and might remain the responsibility of their owner, but student loans acquired after marriage might be split between the couple even if only one person got the education. Since Texas is a community property state, courts will in general divide assets and debts equally in a divorce.
Some couples who were married prior to 2006 may have consolidated their existing student loans for interest rate purposes. Even if the prior loans were taken out before marriage, the resulting obligation is considered to have been incurred on the date it was signed and thus it is a marital obligation.
Discussing student loan debt prior to marriage and how much each person owes is important. Couples might want to draw up a prenuptial agreement that outlines how they will split debt if they divorce, including that which is incurred after they marry.
People who are considering divorce may want to talk about their financial concerns and goals with an attorney. Divorce is often accompanied by a drop in one or both people’s standard of living, so financial security should be a priority. All debts and assets are not necessarily split 50/50 even though Texas is a community property state. A couple might make an agreement that is more creative and flexible than this, or a judge might make a split that seems fair even if it is not an exact split. Couples have the option of making a divorce agreement instead of going to court, and even if they are in conflict, they might be able to turn to mediation to reach an agreement.