Yes, that’s the general rule in California and that goes back to the idea of community property. It is not just assets that come within the definition of community property; it’s also debts. And just as assets are presumptively divided 50/50 at divorce, so, too, is shared debt.
Now, there are certain specific exemptions to that, one example-the strongest example-being student loans. But the general rule is that debt is going to be allocated 50/50, unless that 50/50 would work in extreme and rare hardship upon one of the spouses.
John Harding is the principal of the law firm of Harding & Associates in Northern California. He practices family law litigation and divorce mediation exclusively.