Once a couple has officially separated and live separately, can one spouse...

Once a couple has officially separated and live separately, can one spouse be held responsible for any new debts the other may incur or are they 100% responsible for their own new debts?

By John Harding
May 11, 2014
CA FAQ/Debt, Credit, Bankruptcy

For most debts that are created after a couple has separated, there is not joint responsibility. I'm responsible for the new debt that I create after the separation and you are responsible for the new debt that you create after separation. You can take comfort in the fact that no matter how many new bills I’m racking up, you don’t have any responsibility for them.

Now, that doesn't say that you and I aren't going to continue to share responsibility for certain debts that we had during the marriage. For example, the $10,000 credit card bill that we had when we separated or the existing loan on a car that you and I have been driving during the marriage. But as far as new debt is concerned, yours is yours and what is mine is mine.


John Harding is the principal of the law firm of Harding & Associates in Northern California. He practices family law litigation and divorce mediation exclusively. You can view his firm profile here, and visit his website here.

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May 11, 2014
Categories:  FAQs

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