Debts Incurred Before Marriage

[1] General Rule

The separate property of a married person is liable for a debt incurred by the person before marriage. Fam. Code § 913(a).

Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, the spouses’ community estate also is liable for a debt incurred by either spouse before or during marriage, regardless of which spouse has management and control of the property and regardless of whether one or both spouses are parties to the debt or to a judgment for the debt. Fam. Code § 910(a)

Thus, in one case, real estate was community property despite a husband’s quitclaim to his wife, and the property could be sold to satisfy a lien for the husband’s child support arrearages from a previous marriage.

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