Can I be held liable for a car accident after separating from my wife? 4 Answers as of April 20, 2011

My wife and I were in car accident and she filed for divorce days after and now wants me to pay for deficiency on vehicle when it was in her name (I co signed for vehicle). Am I liable for half?

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Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Yes you are liable for one half of all community property debts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/20/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
Too bad you co-signed. I think it is not clear if you have to pay, or not. The registration of the car was a factor, but since you are on the loan and the issue is financial, and occurred during the marriage, unless you obtain a stipulation to assign the debt to her (which she will obviously not agree with), or obtain a Court Order that the debt be assigned to her (which you could hold out for), you will probably each be jointly and severally liable for the entire debt. Then again, the accident was her fault and she held registration alone, indicating ownership. You could make an argument, but would have to litigate the issue. Maybe she can file for bankruptcy and discharge the deficiency?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/20/2011
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