You do not personally have any student loans, as your parents paid your way through college. Your spouse, though, has over $100,000 that they have to pay back for their education.
As a married couple, you may have expected to address this massive debt together. But what if you decide to get a divorce? Do you still need to pay your ex’s debt or not?
It all depends on when they incurred that debt. Did they take out the loans before you got married? Perhaps you met in college and they already had the debt. Then, it will generally stay with them, and you don’t have to pay it. If, however, you got married and then took out those loans for your education, you too have an obligation to pay some of the debt. This is the same as if you bought a car or a home together.
Now, you also may have to pay it if you took steps to change that debt. Maybe your spouse had high interest rates. The two of you refinanced your house, using the equity to take out money to pay off the loans. Now your house payments are larger than they were before. Even though the initial debt it represents was just your ex’s, you still have the debt from the house and you’re responsible for it with them.
Things like this can get very complicated, so make sure you know what options you have. Remember to think about both your assets and your debts when you decide that it is time to get divorced.