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Married Students

Legal issues come in all sizes and shapes.

It has become common for married students to borrow money to pay for education or training. If the married student then finds himself or herself in a California Divorce Court, several rules apply. First, loans incurred during marriage for the education or training of a party shall not be included among the debts of the marriage, but shall instead be assigned to the student who incurred the debt. This makes sense for the spouse who borrows money to pay tuition and then leaves the marriage with a degree or professional certificate.

Another common situation is the couple who use community funds to pay for a spouse’s education or training. In this case the community shall be reimbursed for the education or training that “substantially enhances the earning capacity of the party.” In other words, the community would probably not be reimbursed for a spouse who took cooking classes or golf lessons unless the spouse was a professional cook or golfer. However, when a spouse acquires education or training during a marriage that substantially enhances their earning capacity, the community is to be reimbursed based upon the considerations set forth in Family Code Section2641. These include such things as whether or not the marriage has already benefitted from the education or training, whether or not both parties received education or training, and the extent to which the education or training affects the need for spousal support that would otherwise be required.

This blog is only intended to be a general discussion of the student loan/debt issue, and for your particular case you should consult an attorney who specializes in family law. If you have additional questions about family law issues that my office can help you with, call us and set up an appointment: 909.792.0222. You can also contact me online through [email protected]

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