In a community property state, is a spouse responsible for the other spouses per marital debts and student loans?

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In a community property state, is a spouse responsible for the other spouses per marital debts and student loans?

The debt was acquired in a different state.

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Community property is property acquired during marriage.  Community property also includes income and debt incurred during marriage. Each spouse has a one half interest in the community property.

Separate property is property acquired before marriage or after the marriage ends.  Separate property also includes income and debt incurred before marriage or after the marriage ends.  A spouse has no claim to the other spouse's separate property.

You are not liable for your spouse's pre-marital debt because that debt is your spouse's separate property.

Since you live in a community property state, the fact that the debt was incurred in another state does not change the outcome because of the concept of quasi-community property.  This means that property that would have been community property had it been acquired in your community property state would be community property even though acquired elsewhere.  The separate property argument is also applicable regarding this situation.


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