In the midst of a divorce, dealing with the emotional issues may be difficult enough. However, preparing for life after divorce is something that all divorcees should be preparing for, and your emotions should not impair this process. As we have noted in some of our prior posts, developing a post divorce budget is key; but what good is a potential budget if you don’t know what you are going to be responsible for after your divorce is finalized.
Indeed, paying off debts can be just as contentious as fighting over assets. The battle over debt can be especially contentious when it comes to deciding who is going to pay off student loans. It was not too long ago that people were going back to school because the job market was in shambles. Now that the economy has stabilized to a certain extent, many college and grad school graduates are still dealing with debt.
So how do divorcing couples deal with dividing student loan debt?
Illinois family court judges have a great deal of discretion in determining who will pay marital debts, and student loan debt is no different. However, there a number of factors that judges will consider in assigning debt, including how the estate is being divided, who benefitted from the education that spawned the debt, and a person’s ability to pay the debt.
Because of this, people who are planning their post divorce budgets should not simply assume that their ex is going to pay for their student loan debt. A conversation with an experienced family law attorney can help in establishing a solid plan.