Will I be responsible for my wife’s college loan when we divorce?
My wife took out a loan so she could finish her degree at Boston College. The plan was that she would use her degree to get a job and help with the expenses, but she hasn’t finished the program and now we’re getting divorced. She and her lawyer insist that I will be partially liable for the loan, is this true?
In Massachusetts just about everything (asset and liability) of the parties are marital as opposed to personal and subject to equitable division (not equal, but fair) in the case of divorce. A judge will apply the statutory factors which include the age of the parties, their health, ability to earn, station in life, expectation of future earnings, etc. to make those decisions. Attorneys will also use these factors when negotiating. An educational loan would normally fall into the category of a marital debt especially if it is taken out with the intent to increase the income or assets of the married couple. In your case, the specific facts and background would be applied to these statutory factors. If your wife has no intent of finishing the course of study and thus has not received any value from this expense, then your best argument to be made is that she has in effect dissipated your collective assets and should be required to make repayment on her own. If your wife intends to finish her studies and will be able to earn more income as a result, this degree/certification then becomes a benefit to you as your child support/spousal support/alimony would likely be less than it would have been otherwise. Your argument then might be that you will be responsible for half of the repayment of the loan so long as she does complete the course of study, that she makes diligent efforts for a higher paying job and that child support be recalculated after this occurs.
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Boston Metrowest Divorce Lawyers
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