There is a lot to consider when a couple decides to get a divorce. For example, he or she must figure out how a child custody arrangement may affect his or her time and relationship with his or her child. Another major consideration of marriage dissolution is property division. Although many Californians think of this process as merely equally dividing marital assets amongst the parties, this isn't the case.
The property division process can also involve the division of marital debts. Oftentimes, couples accumulate a fair amount of debt while they are married, and it can take many forms. A mortgage, car loans, student loans, and credit card debt can all be subjected to division. Equally dividing debt may seem easy enough, but the process can actually be quite complicated.
One reason for this is that many debts simply cannot, or should not, be divided because creditors will fail to recognize the division. What does this mean? It means that an individual could hold only half of an owed debt, but a creditor could come after him or her if the other half is not paid. This can leave an individual without legal protection, forcing him or her to lose out financially.
So how can marital debt be divided in a way that protects one's legal interests? It depends on the specific facts at hand. However, one way to address this matter is to sell marital assets and use the proceeds to pay off debt. When dealing with credit card debt, it may be best for one party to obtain his or her own card, then transfer their share of the debt onto that new card.
As can be seen, property and debt division can seem easy, but it can actually be fraught with legal challenges. Therefore, those who are considering divorce may want to come up with a legal strategy before entering into any type of negotiations or litigation.