Family Law

Division of Debts

Division of Debts Attorney in California

In California, the division of debts in a divorce is an important aspect of the property division process. California is a community property state, which means that generally, all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered community property and are subject to equal division between the spouses upon divorce. However, there are certain factors and considerations to keep in mind: Community Property: Community property includes all assets and debts acquired during the marriage, regardless of who incurred the debt. This means that both spouses are generally responsible for debts acquired during the marriage. Separate Property: Separate property includes assets and debts that were acquired before the marriage or after the date of separation. These are generally not subject to division in divorce.

Characterization of Debts: Determining whether a debt is community property or separate property can sometimes be complex. For example, if one spouse had a credit card in their name before marriage but used it for community expenses, that debt might be considered community property. Equal Division: In general, community debts are divided equally between the spouses in a divorce. Each spouse is responsible for 50% of the community debts. This includes credit card debts, loans, mortgages, and other financial obligations incurred during the marriage.
Court Discretion: While the default rule is equal division, the court has the discretion to deviate from this rule based on various factors. The court may consider the financial circumstances of each spouse, the duration of the marriage, and any other relevant factors.
Marital Settlement Agreement: Spouses can negotiate their own division of debts through a marital settlement agreement. This agreement allows them to decide how to divide their assets and debts without court intervention, as long as it is fair and equitable.

Creditors and Liability: It's important to note that even if a divorce court orders one spouse to be responsible for a particular debt, it does not release the other spouse from liability with the creditor. Creditors can still pursue either spouse for the debt, regardless of what the divorce decree says. Legal Assistance: Given the complexities involved in debt division, it's advisable for individuals going through a divorce in California to seek legal advice from an attorney who specializes in family law. An attorney can help ensure that debts are divided in a fair and legally sound manner. It's important to remember that each divorce case is unique, and the division of debts can vary based on the specific circumstances of the marriage and the divorce proceedings. Consulting with an experienced attorney is essential to navigate the legal process and protect your interests during a divorce in California.