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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 111670
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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It was mentioned to me by a local family atty (while waiting

Customer Question

It was mentioned to me by a local family atty (while waiting at custody mediation) that for me to be held responsible for my wife's secret credit card debt would depend on just how they are "listed". question#1: Are there any exceptions in California where
this is true? question#2: Isn't my wife obligated by law and shouldn't her own atty be required to disclose "all" the secret credit card debt so all can be paid in full with monies from sale of our home.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

1) What he is talking about is that all debts created during the marriage in CA are presumed to be community debts and for the benefit of the marriage. So if she lists them as community debt because they were created during the marriage, then you can be liable UNLESS you can show that the credit card debt was not used for any benefit of the marriage and as such is a separate debt.

2) If she fails to disclose debt and her name is ***** ***** debt it becomes her debt to be paid, not community debt. She would have to pay it and they cannot hold you liable if she did not claim it in the divorce or you can prove that it was not used for the benefits of the marriage.

The community property law makes it a PRESUMPTION that any debt during the marriage is community debt, but that presumption can be refuted by the evidence.