In a community property state how are liabilities/assets divided, specifically to credit card debt and a car loan?

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In a community property state how are liabilities/assets divided, specifically to credit card debt and a car loan?

My husband has recently filed for divorce. He is in the military and I am entitled to $900 per month from him until our divorce is final, to pay my rent (he is living on base and I am in our apartment off base). He is saying that the credit cards that he charged up and let go to collections are my responsibility, and I understand that it may be, because we live in a community property state. However, we purchased a vehicle 11 months ago and between the down payment and the payments we’ve made, about $8100 of it has been paid off. Is the amount we’ve paid towards the vehicle community property?

Asked on December 28, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  Yes, it is true that the debt could be yours even though your name is not on it in a community property state such as California.  But maybe not if the debt incurred was not characterized as "marital" debt, meaning it was for the benefit of the marriage.  And if it only has his name on it that is a plus for you.  If not then you have a problem on your hands.  You need to seek some legal help here asap.  As for the car I really do not understand that part of the question.  If the car is both of yours and you both took out the loan then the amunt paid off was out of joint assets and the amount remaining is a joint liability.  Pleas eget help.  Good luck.


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