If you are going through a divorce in South Carolina, then you are well aware that marital assets will need to be equitably distributed. In South Carolina, the “equitable apportionment” law means that property will be split between spouses in a way that is equitable, though not necessarily 50-50. The court will decide what is fair based on factors that paint a complete picture of the marriage’s financial situation and what each spouse will need to move forward after the divorce. However, most people do not realize the debts will also need to be equitably distributed – this can include student loan debt.
South Carolina property division can include student loans
Time Magazine says that more than 44 million Americans have outstanding student loan debt and that this debt now totals more than $1.5 trillion. Looking at these numbers, it is safe to reason that many divorces in Greenville, South Carolina will involve student loan debt.
The distribution of debt during a divorce follows the same guidelines as a division of assets. Debts that are accrued during the course of the marriage will generally be the responsibility of both spouses. Debts that are required before marriage generally remain the responsibility of the person who acquired the debt.
Using those guidelines, it would reason that student loan debt acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage would be the responsibility of both spouses, and the debt would be distributed equitably in a divorce. However, the courts will consider how the money was used before determining who will be responsible for the debt. If a loan was used for purely school-related expenses, it will likely be the sole responsibility of the spouse that received the education. However, if the loans were used to support the family and pay living expenses while one spouse was in school, the student loan debt will likely be the responsibility of both spouses.
An attorney will be necessary for these cases
The division of assets in debt in the aftermath of a divorce can be contentious. At the Elliott Frazier Law Firm, we are ready to help you get through all aspects of this process. You can contact our Greenville divorce attorney for a consultation today, so we can plan your next steps together.
Angela Elliot Frazier is a Family Law Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years now. Angela Frazier believes in helping you through one of the most stressful times of your life. Learn more about her experience by clicking here.