Although a wife didn’t earn income on her college degree until after the parties separated, she used her college loans for living expenses, and the Court of Appeals agrees husband must pay $11,000 of her college loan debt.
Yesterday an appellate panel upheld a Montgomery County divorce court’s property split that gave the wife equity in the condo the husband owned prior to marriage, and the husband $11,000 of the $44,000 in student loan funds the wife borrowed during the parties’ marriage.
Kiam and Christina Layne married in 2001 and separated in 2006, but did not divorce until 2009. Kiam owned a condo, which the couple occupied for the first year of their marriage, then rented in later years.
The trial court in Layne v. Layne agreed with the wife that the condo was hybrid property. The rent checks were deposited into a joint account, joint funds were used to pay the mortgage, and the wife helped find renters, leased the property, collected rent and called repairmen. She got $28,676 of the $57,352 marital share of the condo.
And the husband got a share of the student loans, as marital debt. The wife testified that her books and tuition were paid through her graduate program and the student loan funds maintained the household.
The family benefited from the student loans because the funds went toward family expenses, wrote the appellate court in an unpublished per curiam opinion.