Primarily servicing the greater New York City metropolitan area



LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.
DIVORCE SOLUTIONS
206 East 38th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016
(212) 370-1660

FINANCIAL ISSUES - MARITAL PROPERTY V. SEPARATE PROPERTY

Question #25:
My husband and I were married in March of 1997, in California. He is currently in the military and we are stationed in Illinois. We are looking at getting a divorce. Mainly the problem is that he has been abusive to me, both mentally and physically. I am not sure what to do at this point and I feel that at this time I'm going to be the one to start the divorce. I have no idea what the laws are in this state and I am looking to move out of the house. I have no job to support the bills that he claims are all mine, which aren't, they're joint. The problem is that they are in my name and he is on the accounts as an authorized user. I don't think that he would be willing to help me out and he doesn't see that he has done anything wrong. He thinks it's all my fault. Help!

Any information would be helpful at this point .

Answer:
California is a "community property" state and as such all marital property (i.e. property earned during the course of the marriage regardless of in whose name it is held) will generally the divided by the courts in equal shares. All liabilities and debts incurred by either party as a result of the marriage and during the course of the marriage will also be paid out of the marital property regardless of in whose name the liabilities or debts are held. However, that his if you file for divorce and the courts take over the management of all marital assets and debts. If you do not file for divorce and you are the only signatory on the account, the creditor will look to you to pay the full amount owed and will have recourse only against you.

Good luck!

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

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