Sadly, divorce is all too common in the United States. Now, more than ever, millions of people enter into marriages that will end in divorce. All of these marriages aren’t ending after a few months or a year or two, either. The average length of a marriage that results in a divorce is actually nine years. During those nine years, many married couples naturally have children and combine their finances.
California divorce attorneys will not only help with child custody issues, but they will also ensure that your finances are taken care of, especially when debt plays a role. While many parents will fight to gain child custody, few parents will want to take on the family’s debt. Fortunately, family law firm attorneys can help with property division during a divorce, too.
Debt And Divorce In California: What You Need To Know
It’s important to keep in mind that during a divorce, the debt that either you or your spouse accumulated during the marriage officially belongs to both parties. It doesn’t matter if one of you racked up incredible amounts of credit card debt all on their own; it belongs to both of you equally. Even if you decide to informally divide the debt between the two of you without legal assistance or a judge’s signature, the debt will continue belonging to both of you. That’s means you’ll both be held responsible for late payments or default, which can cause serious confusion and financial problems down the road.
So what happens to debt during a divorce in California?
Here in California, all debt acquired during the marriage or domestic partnership is considered “community property,” meaning it belongs equally to both partners. in a 50/50 split. In general, this means that all debt from the time of the marriage will be divided equally after the divorce as well.
According to the official California Court website, “In California, each spouse or partner owns one-half of the community property. And, each spouse or partner is responsible for one-half of the debt. Community property and community debts are usually divided equally.”
To avoid any confusion regarding what happens to your debt after a divorce, seek out the necessary California family law advice from your divorce attorneys.
Other Types Of Property And Divorce Issues In California
Property, in regards to divorce, involves any item that can have value. Here is a list of property items that will be need to be considered during a divorce.
- House — Aside from child custody, the most important item discussed during a divorce is often the couple’s home. This can be complicated, as there is obviously only one home in question, and divorced couples don’t usually cohabitate. Keep in mind that if you previously signed a property agreement either during or before the marriage, you will need to consult with your divorce attorneys about how this will affect your divorce.
- Vehicles — Your attorneys will also help with vehicle distribution during the divorce process. This might not be as contentious as deciding who gets the house, especially if you can come to a mutual agreement based on who primarily used the car.
- Pensions, Retirement Savings, and Bank Accounts — In addition to all the cash you and your spouse have in and out of your bank account (or accounts), you also have to determine what happens to 401(k) plans, life insurance policies, stocks, security deposits, or any businesses that you both own. The more financial assets you have, the more complicated this will become. If these assets were acquired during your marriage, your spouse will have an equal claim to them, even if it’s a pension or account in your name only.
Of course, these are just some of the types of property that will need to be divided up during the divorce process. Children and finance issues can obviously complicate the divorce process considerably, which is why it’s so important to consult with divorce attorneys as early in the separation process as possible.
If you need to speak with child custody attorneys, divorce attorneys, or just need legal assistance, contact R and S Law Group today.