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Property division includes the division of marital debts

California is one of the nine states under community property laws and considers anything that a couple acquires during the time of their marriage as the property of both spouses. When a couple gets divorced, their assets will be split in two equal parts, and each party can be on their way to a new life. However, this process of property division does not only include assets, but also debts that were accumulated during the marriage.

Divorced parties may not realize that they may be held liable for the debts of an ex-spouse. Even if a debt was allocated to an ex-spouse during the divorce proceedings in court, the creditor can still hold the other party responsible. The creditor will not be interested in what was decided in court, because the documents they have may contain the signatures of both spouses.

If the ex-spouse dies before the debt is paid, the creditor may demand payment from the surviving spouse, even many years after a divorce. When a couple gets divorced, they may approach the creditor and request an accord of satisfaction, whereby the spouse who is not responsible for the payment of the debt is removed from the payment agreement. However, creditors are not likely to agree without the responsible person providing surety and convincing the creditor that he or she will be able to settle the outstanding debt.

A person in California who is faced with the debt of a deceased ex-spouse as allocated to him or her during property division may be happy to learn that action can be taken. The money could be claimed from the estate of the ex-spouse. However, this can only be done after the debt has been settled. Individuals who are unsure of how to proceed, or find the process intimidating, may want to acquire the services of advisors who are available for guidance through California court procedures.

Source: clickondetroit.com, "Your dead ex-spouse's debt can be your problem", Jeanne Sahadi, June 21, 2014

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