In divorce, is my ex liable for student loans that we consolidated?

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Question:

My wife and I both have student loans. During one program, we consolidated the loans together with both names on the loan. Another government program allowed us to get a lower interest rate, which we applied for. The new loan appears to be in my name only, although it has both loans consolidated. Now my wife and I are getting a divorce. Will she still be liable for her portion of the loan?

Answer:

A consolidated loan is nothing more or less than a new loan that erases the previous loans.

As with so many other legal thingamabobs, what matters most is what's on the document. You must read your loan papers to find out exactly who is liable for the consolidated loan.

If the consolidated loan is in your name only, a judge could make your particular divorce woes a bit less woeful by ordering your former spouse to reimburse you for her portion or to pay it directly herself. But that would not change your obligation to the lender to make sure it's paid.

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