Some couples who decide to divorce in Georgia might have to contend with student loans when they figure out how to divide their assets and debts. Whether a spouse’s student loans will be divided in the divorce will depend on when the loan was taken out, whether it is a private or federal loan and some other factors.

Student loans taken out premarriage

People who took out student loans in their names before their divorces will still be responsible for repaying them after they get divorced. Like separate property that was brought into the marriage, debts that were incurred by one spouse premarriage will also be deemed to be separate and the sole responsibility of that person.

Student loans taken out during marriage

Private student loans generally require cosigners. If a person took out a private loan and his or her spouse cosigned on it, both individuals will be responsible for repaying the loan after the divorce. The spouse who used the loan might sign a release to absolve the cosigner of liability for the debt if the company will allow it. Federal student loans generally do not require cosigners. For loans that were taken out during the marriage, a judge might equitably divide the loans. However, courts might also simply order the person whose name appears on the loan to continue paying the debt on his or her own.

Help for divorces involving student loans

People who want to get divorced and whose spouses have significant student loan debt might want to retain experienced divorce and property division lawyers. Attorneys may advise their clients about different ways to divide their assets and debts to better protect their interests and rights. People who will leave their marriages with student loan debt might want to consider refinancing their loans into longer terms or switching to income-based repayment plans to make the payments more affordable.