In a South Carolina divorce, the division of debt generally follows the same guidelines as the division of assets: When debts are accrued during the course of the marriage, they’re usually assumed to be the responsibility of both parties. That’s true of credit card debt, car loans, mortgages and other types of debt, but not necessarily true of student debt.
The cost of a college education today can be substantial, and many students find they cannot afford their education without a loan. In some cases, loans for a four-year degree can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. With so much at stake, it’s easy to see why division of student debt becomes so important during the divorce process.
When considering student loan debt in SC divorce, the court can take several approaches. In most cases, the court will try to determine if the entire loan amount was used to pay for tuition, books and other school-related expenses. If that’s the case, the debt may be considered to be entirely the responsibility of the spouse who earned the degree. If, however, the court finds that some of the loan proceeds helped pay for housing costs or other living expenses, the debt burden may be divided between the two spouses.
The Court as part of a South Carolina divorce usually, but not always, makes the spouse who incurred the student loan debt pay the student loan debt. Most South Carolina divorce judges believe that it is fair to make the person who received the degree pay the student loan debt since they will reap the benefits of having the degree. Division of property, including debt, is just one of the complexities you’ll face in a divorce, and having a skilled and experienced SC family attorney on your side can ensure you’re treated fairly. Give us a call today at (805) 863-1800 to schedule a free consultation to learn the SC divorce law firm of E. Lindsay Blanks can help you.