Will you have to pay your spouse’s debt in divorce?

By |2022-04-04T17:40:49+00:0014 Nov 2017|Categories: Divorce|


Dividing up marital property during divorce is rarely a simple, straightforward process. Depending on how long the marriage endured and the events that you and your spouse experienced, you may have a number of very complicated issues to address in order to finalize your divorce and move on to a new season of life.

One of the most frustrating issues at hand in many divorces is the matter of how to divide debt. Marital property is not only a matter of assets but also liabilities. This means that in order to successfully achieve the divorce that you need, you may have to take a significant portion of your spouse’s debt with you.

California is a community property state, which means that you may find yourself liable for debts that your spouse incurs during your marriage, even if the debt is not in your name. For instance, if your spouse buys thousands of dollars of handbags, shoes and jewelry, you may find yourself on the hook for these expenses.

Furthermore, spouses often face liability for the medical debts of a spouse. If your spouse suffered an injury or illness and incurred a significant amount of debt in seeking treatment, you may have to take on a portion of that debt in the asset division process.

If you have concerns about how your family’s debt may affect your divorce, an experienced divorce attorney will examine the specifics of your family’s circumstances. With proper legal counsel, you can work toward the divorce you need while protecting your rights and privileges and addressing financial concerns as they arise.

Source: Findlaw, “Do You Need to Pay an Ex-Spouse’s Debt?,” accessed Nov. 14, 2017

About the Author:

Dorie Anne Rogers - The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
Dorie A. Rogers, a Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California, has been an attorney since 1981 with an exclusive family law practice located in Orange County. She is accepting dissolution cases with support and property issues including the use of forensics to ascertain business value, community interests and to establish monthly case flow analysis. Ms. Rogers has substantial experience in high conflict custody litigation involving sophisticated psychological issues. She drafts premarital and postmarital agreement designed to define and establish parties' separate and community property interests. Paternity cases and domestic violence matters are considered part of her practice. Ms. Rogers is a court-approved and court-appointed to represent minor children.Ms. Rogers consults with individuals concerned about entering or exiting a relationship. She advises effective strategies for dissolution or premarital planning. Knowledge is power and good planning affords better results.Specialties: Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California
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