Texas Divorce : Who is Responsible for Student Loans in a Divorce

The State of Texas is a “Community Property State.”  What this means is that most debts incurred by either spouse during a marriage will be owed by the couple or community. The shared community debt is only applied to debts incurred during the marriage.  If one of the spouses incurs a student loan before marriage, such person will have total responsibility for the debt. An exception to this rule would be where a spouse signs onto an account as a joint account holder after a marriage or refinances jointly during marriage.

If a couple is living together, but are not married, the person carrying the student loans will be solely responsible for his/her debt.

How can couples avoid Student Loans Debt Problems?

In Community Property States (Texas, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington & Wisconsin) couples can sign a Pre or Post Nuptial Agreement to have their debts and income treated separately.  A very good time to do this would be if one spouse is going back to school or pursuing higher education, or is starting a new business.

Before marriage, have a discussion with your future spouse on the extent of his/her debts and your financial situation.  Nothing will sour a loving relationship more than unexpected understood debt.


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Attorney Mark A. Nacol is board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

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