Debt Division

Orange County Debt Division Lawyer

Dividing Marital Debt in California During Divorce

When you file for divorce, you will be required to divide all of your properties in a fair and "equitable" way. This involves both assets and liabilities. That's right. If your spouse has debt, you may have to take some of it with you when you part ways. It will depend on whether or not the debts were accumulated prior to the marriage.

Are you responsible for his or her debt?

You may be responsible for your spouse's debt if:f

  • The debt was accumulated during the marriage
  • The debt was accumulate prior to your date of separation
  • The debt was accumulated in a joint account (sometimes separate accounts also apply.)

For example, if your spouse racked up thousands of dollars on a joint credit card, you may be stuck paying for half of those expenses as a result of the property division. On the other hand, if your spouse has student loans from prior to the marriage that are still not complete, you may be able to avoid shouldering that debt because it was collected pre-marriage.

Protecting Yourself from Unnecessary Debt

Some divorcees know that debt is often divided equally at the dissolution of marriage. That is why spouses may decide to go on a shopping spree, assuming that any debt that they rack up is technically "50% off." In order to avoid this debt trap, you should close all joint accounts and open up accounts solely in your name as soon as you are aware of an impending divorce. Discuss debt with your Orange County family law attorney. It is important that you are honest and disclose all of your assets and liabilities with a legal professional who can help guide you through the process.

Contact an Orange County divorce lawyer today if you want more info about debt division.

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