As you work though your divorce, one of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of the process is usually marital property division. Many spouses do not realize until the process is already in full swing that dividing marital property includes debt as well as assets. While carrying debt is sometimes stressful, it can also be a good tool to help balance out asset division.
No matter how you choose to divide your property, at the end of the day, all of the debt held within your marriage has to go with someone, or must get paid off. There is no part of the divorce process that allows spouses to leave behind debt without repaying it.
However, debt is often a useful tool, one that you can use to offset certain assets if one spouse receives a significantly larger asset than the other spouse. Commonly, this may mean one spouse keeping a marital home, which is often the most significant asset that a couple holds between them in California. In the absence of other assets of roughly equal value, the spouse who keeps the home may also agree to keep much of the couple's debt to make the arrangement fair.
The more complex your assets and liabilities, the more crucial it is to seek out professional legal counsel when divorce comes knocking at your door. Professional legal counsel helps you understand all the issues at hand in your divorce and guides you through this difficult season, ensuring equal division of assets and liabilities and protecting your rights as an individual in the difficult season of change.
Source: California Courts: The Judicial Branch of California, "Dividing Property and Debts in a Divorce," accessed Jan. 12, 2018