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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I live in california and afraid am headed for divorce. I

Customer Question

I live in california and afraid am headed for divorce. I have no children we have a house and I have vielrtually no debt to my name other than the house. My wife has substantial student loan debts almost reaching 100,000 dollars plus a new car with a 35000 loan. I've been researching how California is a 50/50 split stay including debt. I'm worried I will be stuck with her debt leaving the marriage while she makes more money and has a degree making her more employable and have a possibility to male a higher income, while I don't benefit from this at all. Should I take out some loans to try and offset the debt or will that look fishy to a judge? I don't understand how it would be fair for me to get stuck with her debt while I get nothing, but that's life. No paperwork has been filed l, she has only texted me something that said she wanted to be seperated, not divorced.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

You are not responsible for your wife's student loan debt. As the person who received the knowledge and gets the continuing benefits of her education going forward, she will be ordered to pay on those loans. The car loan will go with whichever spouse gets the car. Note that she will be required to buy out your share by paying you half the equity that's accumulated in the car since it was purchased. If she made a down payment, she owes you half the money used. The judge can order her to refinance the loan in her name only if she put your name on it, so you're not liable to the original creditor. Marital debts are typically split in a divorce, but that's unsecured debt or debts incurred to pay for things like a child's education.

Once divorce is filed, you cannot take out loans without the judge's permission. If one spouse files for divorce and the other requests a legal separation, the court will order a divorce.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm concerned that since California is a 50/50 state a lot of articles say the contrary since I live in california all debt is so it 50/50 not like in an equal distribution is there any truth to that?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The word I was looking for was community property state
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Community property and community debts are split 50/50. Your wife's student loans, which only benefit her, are not community property.

The car IS community property, but if the courts splits the debt 50/50, then the car itself has to be split 50/50. No one wants to do that, especially judges. So either the car is sold to pay the debt, and the spouses split whatever is left, or whoever takes the car also takes on the obligation to pay for it. If your wife wants the car, she'll also get the debt.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Do you have any other questions about this?

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