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Ely, Counselor at Law
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I emigrated from Canada and married a US citizen 3 1/2 years

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I emigrated from Canada and married a US citizen 3 1/2 years ago. I have a green card and still maintain Canadian citizenship. I wish to return to Canada as the marriage is failing. What are my responsibilities as 1. I divorce him, 2. I do not divorce him? He has huge debts and owes the IRS $7,000., from a joint filed tax return.
California law maintains a 50/50 split of possessions but I do not know about the debts.
please help.
Thank you,
Kathleen Hirsch
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation.

Per California Family Code section 910 both spouses are liable for all debts incurred during the marriage and prior to separation.

If the debt was incurred during the marriage and prior to separation, it is considered community property debt and both spouses are equally liable. The creditor may pursue either/both for the amount.

Therefore, in a divorce, most parties agree as to who will pay which communal debt. For example,if $5 is owed by both A and B, A will agree (or be ordered by the Court) to pay it. If A does not pay, and creditor goes after B, then B can go back to Court and hold A responsible for indemnification since A got B into trouble with the creditor wherein it was A's responsibility to pay per the divorce decree.

If an agreement as to the communal debt cannot be made, the Court will order it - as equally as possible.

Of course, a creditor may not be able to find you in Canada and/or may not believe that pursuing you in Canada is worth their time/money for any outstanding debt.

An attorney is best, XXXXX XXXXX May I recommend the CA Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

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