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Community property and handling credit card debt in a divorce

When a couple decides to move forward with divorce, it is a decision that will being many significant changes to to the lives of both parties. Division of marital property and how credit card debt is handled will affect a person's financial stability for years to come. California is a community property state, which means both spouses are considered equally responsible for any credit card debt accumulated over the course of the marriage until the date of separation.

Credit card debt held by one spouse from before the marriage is not marital property. However, a judge may decide it is fair for the other spouse to help pay this debt because the things bought were enjoyed by both parties. Every situation and divorce is different, and the court may consider things like how long the couple was married, the financial capabilities of both spouses and income disparity between the two parties.

Division of marital debt can be complex, even in a community property state like California. A person facing the prospect of divorce will find it beneficial to carefully consider all decisions made regarding marital debt and property, including how it will impact future financial interests. Any divorce agreement should clearly outline which party is responsible for each debt in order to minimize the chance of problems in the future.

Property division is one of the most difficult aspects of any divorce. A reader may find it helpful to work with a lawyer experienced in financially complex divorces and community property laws. This guidance can help a person secure terms in a divorce order that will allow him or her to have a strong future. 

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