California Family Law Attorney

Community Debts Are Not Always Divided Equally

Family Code section 2625 is very important and highly under-utilized. It assigns debts incurred by one spouse during the marriage to that spouse alone, IF the debt was not for the benefit of the community estate. However, this is conceptually quite broad. The Law Revision Commission comments to the statute state "'community benefit' arguably should be understood to include each spouse's individual welfare and hence to include each spouse's lawful personal consumption expenditure."

So prostitutes and gambling debts should be assigned to the party who incurred them, but the wife may be entitled to keep those 30 purses and 100 pairs of shoes!


CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE

DIVISION OF PROPERTY

DEBTS AND LIABILITIES

Family Code Section 2625

Notwithstanding Sections 2620 to 2624, inclusive, all separate debts, including those debts incurred by a spouse during marriage and before the date of separation that were not incurred for the benefit of the community, shall be confirmed without offset to the spouse who incurred the debt.