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Who gets the house and who gets the debt in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | Family Law

Your divorce may initiate a variety of challenges as you move on from your marriage. One of the difficulties you may have is dividing your property and your debts between you and your spouse.

According to The Judicial Branch of California, the court system considers everything owned by spouses in marriage as community property.  Every partner in marriage in California owns one-half of the community property as well as one-half of the debt.

Dividing property

Since you have a right to one-half of your property during the divorce process and so does your spouse, start by putting together a list of all of your assets. Determine which items are separate property and which are community property.

Once you decide which items are community property, like your house, determine the fair market value of each. This process can help you determine what you need to discuss in further detail when you resolve your settlement.

Dividing debt

Many married couples assume they can total the amount of their debt and then divide it in half. However, your creditors may not honor this agreement, even if you put it into writing. Regardless of who agrees to pay back the debt, the creditor can go back to the person who entered into the contract.

Take caution when dividing debt during your divorce. You may want to look into different alternatives for dividing this debt, such as paying it off with the proceeds of the family home or transferring a credit card balance to a new card under just one person.