Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Avoid these pitfalls when dividing debts in a California divorce

When a California couple decides to end their marriage, they likely understand that their property, such as automobiles, furniture, electronics or even their home will be divided. However, what they may not initially know is that their debts will also be divided. Moreover, there are special concerns that they should take into account when it comes to dividing debts in California.

For example, they may think the easiest way to divide debt is to simply calculate the entire amount of debts owed, and split it down the middle. For example, they may decide on their own that if have two jointly owned credit cards with roughly the same balance, one party would take on responsibility for one of the cards while the other party would take responsibility for the other card.

Nonetheless, this may not be a wise move. This is because that even if one put such a plan in writing, a divorce decree does not change the fact that both spouses' names are on the joint account. This means that if one party fails to make payments on the account, the credit card company could go after the other spouse for payments, despite the fact that the divorce decree says otherwise.

To avoid finding themselves, in such a situation, there are a number of options. They could sell a high value asset, such as a home, and use the proceeds to pay off their credit card balances in full. Another option is to have the party who is to be responsible for a joint credit card account, sign up for a new credit card in his or her name only and then transfer the balance from the joint credit card to the new credit card.

As this shows, spouses in California who are contemplating divorce, should understand the laws not only of property division but of the division of debts as well. It is important to know what to expect, so that wise decisions can be made. A family law attorney can be a good resource in such situations.

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