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Community Property & Your Debt
In a community property states, debt acquired during the marriage (as opposed to debt acquired prior to the marriage) is owned jointly by both spouses and is divided upon divorce, annulment or death. Joint ownership is automatically presumed by law, unless there is specific evidence that would point to a contrary conclusion for a particular debt. If you live in a community property state (listed below), both spouses are held accountable for any and all debts acquired during the marriage, even if the account was is listed exclusively in one spouse's name.
Community Property States
The community property states are found most in the West, which has largely been influenced by the Spanish legal tradition from several hundred years ago. The exceptions of this are Louisiana (which comes from a French legal tradition) and Wisconsin (which adopted community property laws much later).