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Student loan debt and divorce

Minnesota couples who are facing the end of their marriages may also wonder whether their student loans debts will be affected by a divorce. A student loan debt taken on prior to marriage belongs to the person who took it out. However, for student loan debts incurred after marriage, the issue becomes more complicated.

In general, all debts acquired after marriage, including student loan debts, are considered marital property along with other debts such as mortgages, credit card debt and various types of loans. Couples married prior to 2006 may have consolidated their student loans for interest rate purposes, and this means that if one person does not pay their portion of the loan, the other person is still responsible for it.

Before getting married, people should discuss the exact amount of their student loan debt. Although such conversations can be difficult, they might also want to consider a prenuptial agreement that makes a plan for handling debt after divorce. How much debt a person does take on after divorce will depend upon the agreement.

There are a number of ways this issue can be handled if there is no prenuptial agreement. A couple may be able to negotiate an amicable separation and have their respective lawyers assist them in preparing a legal agreement. Even if a couple is not getting along, mediation might help them resolve their differences and reach a compromise that suits them both. However, some divorces are high conflict, or one partner simply will not cooperate. In this case, litigation may be necessary.

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