Debts and Community Property
Community Property are properties acquired by either spouses during marriage except for gifts, inheritance and properties obtained prior to marriage (i.e., “separate property”). A spouse can give property as community property by transfer or commingle separate property into community property.
Community Property are liable for debts of either spouse incurred during marriage. One spouse’s credit card creditor can try to collect on both halves of the community property, including the other spouses’ wages. Spouse’s wages are considered community property.
Community Property are liable for debts of either spouse incurred prior to marriage. Creditors can also collect on both halves of the community property.
Community Property are not liable for debts incurred after separation. Debts incurred after separation can only be collected from the spouse’s 1/2 of the community property (property acquired prior to date of separation) plus her separate property. Separate property also includes property acquired after the time of separation.
There are ways to defeat the community property presumption by “transmutation”. But that is beyond the scope of this website.
If you have further questions, call for a phone consultation with Muoi Chea, experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Sacramento, Stockton, Fairfield, California serving consumers and small business owners in Northern and Central California.