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In a divorce, couples often come up with a plan to divide all the goods that they’ve accumulated during the marriage but they forget about the debt. People don’t often think about the debt as something to be divided, simply because it’s not talked about as often as “who gets the house.”
Both types of plans are subject to equal division of the community interest in the plan. But the methodology will be quite different for each type of plan (and, sometimes, both plans will be at issue in a give case).
California is one of nine states to practice the theory of community property in a marriage. The idea is that a marriage is like a partnership. The partners, although they may have different roles, are equal contributors to the marital community.
Much has been written about community property, a characteristic that causes an equal division between divorcing couples. But, just as important is the identification of property that is owned by one of the spouses which will not be divided in the divorce.
California divorce laws recognize that both spouses make valuable contributions to any marriage regardless of their employment. Property is labeled either "community property" or "separate property." Community property is all property, in or out of the state, that either spouse acquired during the marriage. Each spouse owns one-half of all community property. It does not matter if only one spouse worked outside of the home during the marriage or if this property is in only one spouse's name.
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