skip to Main Content

California is a community property state, which means that generally, debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage belong to both equally. Unless the spouses entered into their own agreement as to the division of debts, the court will order that community debts be equally divided between the spouses upon dissolution of the marriage. However, there are some exceptions to this rule that you and your family lawyer will need to address given the specific facts of your case.

Ventura family lawyer

Exceptions To The Rule


The following are exceptions where the general community property rule does not apply in dividing liabilities during a divorce:


–          Debt incurred before separation by the spouses, and which is used to purchase a gift for another person the spouse was involved with – excluded

–          Debt incurred after separation, but was for the benefit of the entire family – excluded

–          Debt incurred before separation, which was a mutual economic decision of the couple, but was used to enhance a separate relationship for the benefit of only one spouse – excluded


In order to determine whether the general rule of community property applies to all the debts incurred during your marriage, your Ventura family lawyer will need to look at all the specific facts and determine the reason why the debt was incurred and for whose benefit the debt was incurred.


Contact Us


For more information about dividing liabilities upon the dissolution of your marriage, call Zonder Family Law at (818) 309-7059 to schedule a consultation with a Ventura family lawyer.

Back To Top

Can I send you more information about your divorce options?

Please subscribe for more details about litigated divorce vs. mediation and the benefits of being “trial ready”.

Submitting this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Hello, I'm Lisa Zonder

Are you ready to take action on your divorce, or just want to talk about it with an expert? 

Consider a “get to know us” introductory session. I’m happy to review your situation, answer your questions, and discuss case strategy. 

Certified Family Law Specialist since 1999.
Rated 5 stars on Google and Avvo.