Dana Point, CA asked in Bankruptcy and Divorce for California

Q: In a divorce how is credit card debt split up and what happens if one side cant pay it?

IM in a middle of a divorce. I have been paying the debt solely for a year. Im now in a situation of BK. My question is will I be repaid for the time i have been paying the debt solely and if so how do i collect that money if the spouse can't pay their share?

Related Topics:
3 Lawyer Answers
Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman
Answered
  • Culver City, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Debt incurred during the marriage is considered community debt. Liability for that debt is therefore shared equally. However, family courts are considered courts of equity. If one party has a better ability to pay off that debt, the court may divide it in a way that reflects the parties' respective abilities to pay.

Harlene Miller
Harlene Miller
Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Irvine, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Husband and Wife are liable for all debt incurred by them jointly during marriage. Even though you may have paid on the debts, the creditors look to both parties for payment - both are liable for the full amount of the debt. If you filed bankruptcy solely, any debt listed in your bankruptcy will be discharged as do you and the creditors can continue to seek payment from your spouse if she was not part of the bankruptcy. You should talk with your family law attorney handling the divorce (or get one to meet with) - regarding the division of debt and/or payments you have made should be dealt with during the divorce process.

Lloyd M. Nolan
Lloyd M. Nolan
Answered

A: Marital debt is apportioned between the parties in nearly all States. If bankruptcy is a serious consideration, it is often an effective strategy for Husband and Wife to file a joint bankruptcy prior to dissolving the marriage. This way they can eliminate most, if not all, of the debt that could become a sticking point in their dissolution of marriage settlement negotiations. I have utilized this strategy many times. It can make things much easier and Dissolution counsel have generally supported this strategy,

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.