In this case, Wife went to nursing school during the party's marriage and was claiming that Husband should be responsible for her student loan debt as a joint debt because Husband participated in the decision-making with regard to Wife’s choice to go to school for nursing. The wife also contends that she used student loan money to pay for some of the parties’ expenses during marriage.
The trial court, in adopting the equitable distribution master’s recommendation, decided that the Wife should be solely responsible for these student loans. The Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s decision on this issue, and citing Hicks v. Kubit, 758 A.2d 202 (Pa. Super. 2000), determined that even if a debt is characterized as “marital” -this does not mean that this “marital debt” necessarily becomes a joint debt for the parties. In Hicks, with facts similar to those in this case, Ms. Hicks was held responsible for her own student loan debt, as she was the recipient of the education and should be responsible for the loans associated with her education. Here, the court determined that Wife failed to prove that their Husband derived a benefit from Wife’s education, and thus, she was held responsible for all of her student loan debt.
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