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Debt Division

Westlake Village Divorce Lawyer – (805) 633-4999

California considers debt to be a real asset that needs to be divided during a typical divorce. This family law statute can often catch divorcing couples off-guard, as they had focused their time and energy on deciding how to divide property that is either more tangible or more desirable. If you need assistance regarding how you should go about debt division in your divorce, let me, Westlake Village family law Attorney Jeffrey Graff, help you. I have more than 35 years of experience managing complex family law disputes that I can put to good use for your case.

Protecting my clients’ best interests is a priority. Contact me today to start your case.

How California Divides Debt in a Divorce

Although no one wants to claim debt, someone has to take it during a divorce. To keep matters relatively simple, California considers debt to be an asset like any other item or property. The state will use several rules of division to decide who gets what debts and why.

While dividing debt, the court will need to consider:

  • Community or separate: When was the debt in question accrued? Debt accrued by one spouse before marriage could be considered separate and be given to that one spouse. Debt accrued during marriage might be community debt and divided between both spouses, even if the debt was formed through the purchase of an item or asset only one spouse used or enjoyed.
  • Equitable or equal: The court has some leeway when deciding how to divide community debt. Depending on how the debt was accrued, it could be equitably or equally distributed. Equitable distribution will split the debt fairly, whereas equal distribution will try to split it 50-50.

To avoid placing the decision of debt division in the hands of a family law judge, you and your spouse can agree upon debt division yourselves and bring the agreement to the court for final approval. If this is a route you think you would prefer, do not hesitate to ask me about mediation or collaboration to work together with your spouse during your divorce.

You Can Count On Me 24/7/365

As a Westlake Village divorce attorney who prioritizes the needs of his clients, I always do my best to stay communicative with people who retain my services for their debt division case, divorce, or family law dispute. When you are my client, you should feel free to call me at any time of any day, even holidays, weekends, and late in the night. I believe this is crucial for establishing a personal connection with my clients, which is allows me to better understand their objectives during divorce and construct a strong case on their behalf.

I offer free consultations to inquiring clients. Contact me today to get started.

Hear it From Our
Happy Clients

  • An Amazing Lawyer!

    “I would recommend Jeffrey to anyone that is going though a divorce or child custody. He did his job and helped me get through one of the toughest parts in my life. He is amazing and I can't thank him enough for helping me with this situation. I called around to a few different attorneys and he was the one that just made me feel good and he was super feasible for my situation.”

    Former Client

  • He understands family dynamics because he has experience working with many different types!

    “Jeff is very kind and always takes time to listen to my issues and questions. He is very professional. Jeff is always prepared for court and his experience is obvious when you see that all the judges know him and regard him with great esteem. Jeff understands family dynamics because he has experience working with many different types of issues which characterized my case. If you would like to be able to trust that your lawyer is going to resolve your issue to the best possible outcome while being professional and courteous, Jeff Graff is the attorney for you.”


  • I highly recommend!

    “My experience with Jeff's expertise was non other than A-one! He tackled my case swiftly and efficiently with the utmost professionalism. I highly recommend!”

    Former Client

  • He was easy to work with!

    “Fees were reasonable and he helped me work through my divorce to ensure it was done in a timely manner. He was easy to work with!”

    Former Client

  • In a very difficult time in my life, Mr. Graff provided excellent service to me.

    “In a very difficult time in my life, Mr. Graff provided excellent service to me. Patient with my process, he was always prompt to return my calls, and gave me realistic advice. While other lawyers might be evasive in an effort to prolong the process (hence their fees), Mr. Graff was straightforward and eager to conclude the proceedings quickly in an effort to minimize my pain.”