Many of us are aware that the cost of higher education in the United States has been rising dramatically in recent years. According to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve, Americans currently owe a collective $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. Gone are the days when most people had their student loans entirely paid off in their mid-twenties. Now, it is common for people to carry educational debt well into their thirties and forties. With more New Yorkers having student loan debt later in life, this type of debt has increasingly become an issue in divorce cases. In this post, our top-rated Syracuse divorce attorney explains three important things that you need to know about student loan debt and divorce.
- Student Loan Debt Might Be a Marital Asset
When dividing any type of debt, there is one question that you should answer first: Is that debt a marital asset? Some debts are marital assets, but other debts are separate property. Determining whether or not a debt is marital will depend on many different factors, including:
- The time that the debt was incurred;
- The purpose of the debt;
- Who was paying off the debt; and
- Who benefitted from debt.
If student loan debt was incurred, at least in part, during a marriage, it may be deemed a marital asset for the purpose of property division.
- Marital Debt is Subject to Equitable Distribution
New York operates under an equitable distribution standard. This means that all marital assets (and debts) will be divided in a manner that is deemed to be the most “fair” given the circumstances. This can make dividing assets and liabilities extremely complex. Ultimately, student loan debt can be divided in a number of different ways; it will always depend on the specific facts of the case involved.
- You Need a Customized Solution
If you and your spouse are getting divorced, and either one of you has a considerable amount of student loan debt, you need to consult with a qualified Syracuse divorce lawyer. You should not be stuck paying more than your fair share of the collective educational debt. Your lawyer will be able to help you find the customized solution that is best for your individual needs.
Contact Our New York Divorce Lawyers Today
Is student loan debt an issue in your New York divorce case? If so, we can help. At the Bombardo Law Office, P.C., our legal team has extensive experience representing family law clients in debt division cases. Please call us today at (315) 488-5544 to set up your free consultation. Our firm is located in the heart of Syracuse and we serve communities throughout the region, including in Oswego County and Onondaga County.