WILL YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR SPOUSE’S DEBT IN 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