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If you are one of the many people in California who is facing or even in the midst of a divorce, you know firsthand that the process entails a lot more than just one person moving out. It is also about more than just who gets what set of towels or other personal items. In addition to all of your joint assets, you and your spouse will need to figure out how to split your debts. 

As explained by The Motley Fool, you will want to be very careful to ensure that you do not expect your divorce settlement to be able to dictate all of your debt division terms. This is because even if your decree stipulates that your spouse is responsible for a particular debt, a creditor could still pursue repayment from you down the road if your name remains on the account. This is true for credit cards, mortgages, car loans and more. 

The recommended course of action is to find ways to pay off all joint debt before getting divorced. If this is not possible, any remaining debt should be transferred to new accounts in the responsible party’s name only. These are really the only surefire ways to avoid one person being on the hook for a debt they really shouldn’t have to pay.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to help separated or divorcing persons in California understand the need to protect themselves financially by ensuring their debts are properly handled when they end their relationships.