Dividing student loan debt during a divorce

These days, many college graduates have at least some student loan debt. The total amount of student debt in the United States topped $1.5 trillion recently, with the average borrower having over $37,000 in debt.

This debt tends to follow people throughout their lives, including when they marry and divorce. With some couples, one person has a great deal of student loan debt while the other is debt-free. It is natural to worry about accumulating a partner’s debt from a divorce. Luckily, Pennsylvania has laws that serve as guidelines for how debt becomes divided.

Separate property

When one spouse accumulates debt before the marriage, it remains his or her responsibility even when the marriage ends. The law views this kind of debt as “separate property.” You may marry, and your spouse may chip in to help pay off the debt. However, anything left over will usually remain yours after divorce.

Is this true of all debt?

Most people get into debt from student loans while they are still young and unmarried. However, there are other types of debt couples can accrue later in life. A couple may accumulate a massive amount of credit card debt on a card they both share. During a divorce, a judge would likely divide this type of debt among both parties. They both have a responsibility to pay it off, and the debt occurred over the course of the marriage.

Equitable distribution

In the event the student loan debt occurred during the marriage, a judge may divide it to both parties. This does not mean each spouse will be responsible for paying off 50 percent of the debt. The judge will look at both people’s income levels and their abilities to pay off the debt in a timely manner. This results in an equitable distribution of debt rather than a more straightforward, equal division.


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy discloses the privacy practices for www.bononiandbononi.com. This privacy policy applies solely to information collected by this web site. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the web site, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
  2. What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data.
  3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing 
We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

Your Access to and Control Over Information 
You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Change/correct any data we have about you.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

We also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.


Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time and all updates will be posted on this page.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via telephone at 412-832-2499