In California, when a debt is incurred during a marriage it is considered to be community debt.  Even if the credit account is not joint, if the debt is undertaken on the personal credit of one spouse, or if the debt is acquired during the marriage, it would normally be considered part of the community Family Code § 2581 and Family Code § 2625.  In a divorce, debt would be divided as a part of the marital estate if used to acquire property during the marriage.

Additionally, any loan proceeds that might be acquired by a spouse during a marriage are presumed to be community property.  Per Family Code §2581 and Gagan v. Gouyd (1999) 73 Cal.App.4th835, 843, any party claiming that the loan proceeds are separate property must establish their claim by “clear and convincing” evidence.

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