Can a College Education or Professional License be an “Asset” with Value in a Divorce?

Pierre Domercq Divorce

California has extensive case law regarding the value of an education or professional license that was obtained during the course of the marriage. California recognizes the sacrifice that both parties must make in order to complete an education or to obtain a professional license, especially when one spouse quits their job in order to do so.
Many spouses believe this issue is not limited to the financial costs associated with an educational or professional training. There can often be an apparently “unfair” division of household responsibilities including raising a child or children, and the spouse carrying a heavier burden often asks about this impact on property division and child support or spousal support.
How is the impact of cost of an education or professional license handled during the property division aspect of a North County San Diego divorce? Is the spouse who supported their partner through the process entitled to a portion of related expenses? Are they entitled to a portion of the enhanced income enjoyed by the spouse as a result of the education or professional degree?
California family law recognizes expenses associated with obtaining education or a professional license during the course of a marriage as a portion of the “community estate.” These expenses must therefore be reimbursed to the “community” by the party who obtained the education or professional degree prior to the division of assets. The expenses associated with this issue are usually hard costs such as tuition, room and board, books, fees, study courses for a professional license and other directly associated expenditures.
In California, our laws do not provide a spouse to claim a future portion of “enhanced income” due to education or professional licensure obtained during the course of the marriage.
If your spouse obtained an education or a professional license during the course of your marriage, or you have questions regarding property division we invite you to call 760-712-3741 or contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our seasoned attorneys.