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Do I have to pay my spouse’s student loans in a divorce?

Student loans have become almost essential for many people attending college today. There is a large number of Maryland residents who must make student loan payments for several years after graduating. Some people even continue paying student loan debt for decades if they have gone on to graduate school or professional school, like medical or law school. It is also not unusual for a person to be married and still take out student loans to pay for these degrees. Your spouse may be one of these people.

If you and your spouse have made the choice to get divorced but they still owe money in student loan debt, you will want to understand whether or not that debt could become yours after the divorce is final. According to Saving for College, there are some situations in which student loan debt can be considered marital property. One big factor in determining this is when your spouse took out the loan or loans.

If the debt was incurred before you were married, you may not be responsible for it. However, if the debt was incurred after you got married and was used to pay for your joint living expenses, you may end up being responsible for some of it. Other factors include the earning potential of both spouses and the achievement of any degree related to the student loans.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to let residents in Maryland understand some of the factors that may contribute to the determination of liability for debts when they get divorced.

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