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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

  • I cannot give Jeffrey Graff enough accolades.

    “I knew Jeffrey personally as a proud family man and a pillar of the community with an stellar reputation as a family/divorce attorney. When my daughter was going through her divorce and had several bad experiences with two attorneys, in the Westlake Village area, I recommended Jeffery to her. After meeting with us to discuss the situation and issues, Jeffery and his staff went to work, we went to court, Jeffery not only got the results my daughter had hoped for, but also managed to have the opposing party cover his fees, he is beyond knowledgeable, professional and fair, he's brilliant at what he does and worth every penny. I have since recommended Jeffrey to all my friends and acquaintances who need legal help and will continue to do so. I cannot give Jeffrey Graff enough accolades and thanks for his help and exceptional negotiating skill in settling the case, thank you, again.”

    Dianne R.

  • He worked efficiently to get the best and honest result for my family in child support matters.

    “I chose Mr. Graff to represent me in my divorce since he was also knowledgeable with bankruptcy law. He promptly returned phone calls, was quite helpful and consistent in advising me. He knew and understood my case and was very professional in representing me. Furthermore, I knew he was well respected in the courtroom and by other attorneys. He worked efficiently to get the best and honest result for my family in child support matters. I would absolutely hire him again and definitely recommend him to anyone in need of family law representation.”


  • Mr. Graff, thank you so very much for all you have done for me and my family.

    “I am writing this to let you know how much I appreciate all your past services in completing my divorce and inter-spousal transfer deed! I want to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for your expertise, patience, and professionalism during a very difficult time in my life.Thanks to you taking good care of my case, I refinanced my home in March of this year, and finally have the new deed in my name! This blessing is because you agreed to take my case and you and your staff completed the transaction through the end ... thank you! Mr. Graff, thank you so very much for all you have done for me and my family I am very appreciative and wanted you to know.”

    Former Client

  • 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

  • His team helped restore hope into our family in a time of uncertainty. That alone make Jeff a fantastic attorney aside from his knowledgeable legal skills.

    “Jeff and his team are by far the best to work with. His staff is kind, courteous, and he is excellent at getting the job done in a timely fashion. He is very straight forward and makes it easy to understand what is going on step by step in your case. His experience and insight into the family law field is excellent. Jeff and his office have helped my family tremendously and I would recommend him to anyone who is looking for family law help. If you wants to be sure it is done correct the first time and that your family's best interest are always cared for, he is the guy. His team helped restore hope into our family in a time of uncertainty. That alone make Jeff a fantastic attorney aside from his knowledgeable legal skills.”