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How Is Debt Divided in a Divorce?

Hire An Experienced Attorney To Help You Fight For A Favorable Outcome

As complicated and contentious as dividing assets can be during the divorce process, determining how to divide debt can become even more so. During this time, you need to factor in what percentage should be considered separate and what percentage should be considered as well as whose name the debt falls under.

Depending on how much you and your soon to be ex-spouse owe, it may be difficult to determine just how much each party should remain responsible for once your divorce is finalized. Hiring an experienced family law attorney will put you in the best position possible to navigate this process.

Divorce can be a complicated and stressful experience, and our San Bernardino property division Attorney here at Family Law Advocacy Group is ready to help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. With more than a decade of experience, our firm has the knowledge you need to ensure that you move on to the next phase of your life in the best position possible. Whether you are just starting the divorce process or if you’ve been working your way through it for a while, contact us today to learn how we can be of assistance.

Give us a call at (909) 344-5704 to speak with a member of our firm today.

What Should I Look Out For?

While debt is treated like any other property during the divorce process, the most important piece to pay attention to is which spouse’s name is associated with the debt. Even if you and your soon to be ex-spouse come to an agreement to pay off the debt together, the company or companies you owe money do are unlikely to honor that. If the debt is under your name and your ex-spouse misses a payment, you will likely be on the hook for any penalties, fees, and / or interest.

The best course of action may be to pay off all debt before the divorce is complete – this could involve selling off real estate rather than fighting over who ends up with the home. You may also decide to pay sign up for a new credit card and transfer the balance to your new account. No matter what you decide to do, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced family law lawyer to help you through this process.

How is Debt Divided in Calfornia?

California is a “community property” state, meaning debt accrued during a marriage must be divided equally between both spouses, regardless of who incurred it. While courts may not concretely split the debt in half, they will make sure that the amount owed and the assets gained are equally shared between the splitting husband and wife. The exception to this practice is if the couple has a pre-nuptial agreement articulating how debt will be divided in case of a divorce.

The court examines the value of both the couple’s assets and debt. If the value of the debt exceeds the value of assets, the court has the right to unequally assign debt division. In most cases, courts will assign the excess debt to the party that is better financially situated.

The two forms of debt courts consider are:

  • Community Debt – A couple generates this debt during their marriage through their separation debt. Both parties are responsible for the money owed.
  • Separate Debt – This debt is accrued either before or after a marriage. Only the person incurring the amount must pay it off.

The date of separation determines when a couple’s debt stops being communal. California law dictates two components for defining the date of separation. They include:

  1. The day that a couple physically separates. One spouse must move out of the shared home. In some cases, courts may consider the moment when a couple starts sleeping in separate rooms.
  2. One spouse must have an intent to end the marriage.

Hire The Experienced Lawyer You Need Today

At Family Law Advocacy Group, our San Bernardino property division Lawyer have helped hundreds of clients successfully navigate their divorce process by providing the experienced and knowledgeable counsel they need. If you are considering filing for divorce or if you’re already deep into the process, give us a call to speak with a member of our firm.

Contact us today to request a free assessment of your case.

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Why Work With
Aruna P. Rodrigo?

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