When Matthew Roberts (plaintiff) and Leigh Anne Roberts (defendant) married in June 1989, Mr. Roberts worked for a bank. The following year, the couple agreed that Mr. Roberts would enter law school full-time while Mrs. Roberts supported them financially and assumed all household responsibilities. The couple separated two months before Mr. Roberts’ graduation, at which point Mrs. Roberts was pregnant. Mr. Roberts obtained a position at a large law firm in Chicago. He filed for divorce in August 1993. The trial court ruled that Mr. Roberts’ law degree was not a marital asset but that his student loans were a marital liability. Mr. Roberts was assigned full responsibility for repayment of his loans. After an allocation of the couple’s gross assets and liabilities, Mr. Roberts was left with a net liability of $2,415.04 and Mrs. Roberts with net assets of $25,534.98. Mrs. Roberts appealed.