No one can deny that the cost of college has soared, and many people in Texas must take out thousands of dollars in student loans, just to finance their education. Oftentimes a person takes out these loans and then later on marries. Sometimes it is the case that one spouse earns a lot more than the other and thus, that spouse's higher income is what makes it possible to pay back the other spouse's student loans. However, what happens if couples in such situations later on decide to divorce? Is the higher-earning spouse entitled to anything for paying back their partner's student loans?
Texas is a community property state. During the property division process, the couple's assets will be split in a manner that the court deems is fair and reasonable. Plus, any separate assets a spouse owned prior to the marriage that were not commingled with marital assets will remain the property of that spouse. So, while the higher-earning spouse might not get back the money spent paying back their partner's student loans, they are still entitled to a fair portion of the marital assets, and they will retain any separate assets they own.
Also, keep in mind that spousal maintenance is not always awarded in Texas. For example, if the marriage lasted less than 10 years, the higher-earning spouse may not be ordered to pay spousal maintenance to their ex. And, even if spousal maintenance is awarded, it need not be a permanent award. It may only last as long as it is necessary for the receiving spouse to earn a living that allows them to provide for their basic needs.
While they are happily married, a higher-earning spouse may have no issue with paying back the student loans their partner took out prior to their marriage. It can be an act of love. Unfortunately, love doesn't always last, and some couples in such situations end up divorcing. While the higher-earning spouse may not get the money back that they spent paying their ex's student loans, it is still possible for them to receive a fair amount of the marital assets and spousal maintenance may be temporary, if it is awarded at all. So, in such situations it is possible to resolve high value divorce issues in a manner that is fair to all involved.