Does your spouse have to help with your student loans when you divorce?

The chances are good that you and your spouse don’t agree about how to split up your property when you divorce. Your debts can also be a source of serious contention. The bigger the debt, the more likely it is that you want help paying it. Whether your spouse will agree may be a matter of whether the law requires them to do so.

Louisiana is a community property state, which means that most everything you and your spouse shared in your marriage you will also have to share when you divorce. People often find the community property standard a bit more confusing when it comes to debts than when they apply it toward assets.

If you have student loans, will your spouse have to help you pay them after a divorce?

The date that you incurred the student loans matters

It is typical for people to have student loans solely in their name, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the debt is only their responsibility. Just like your spouse can claim part of a retirement account funded by your employer and only in your name during your marriage, they could also have some responsibility for community debts accrued during the marriage.

If you took out those student loans after your wedding, the chances are good that you can request that your spouse assist you in their repayment. On the other hand, if you already had the debts when you got married, they may be your sole and separate responsibility.

Looking at your debts as well as your assets can give you a better idea about how the court will likely handle your finances in an upcoming Louisiana divorce.