As I understand it, community property is split evenly. If there is equity in the home, then that amount of equity is divided evenly if the house is sold. If one spouse wishes to keep the home and live in it, then he or she buys out the other spouse's share of the equity and becomes the sole owner, right?
What happens in the case where the home is upside down by a couple hundred thousand? If one spouse wishes to keep the home and live in it and continue to make the mortgage payments, can he or she force the other to pay off their share of the debt so that he or she can become the sole owner but with half the debt reduced?
A corollary question is can one spouse force the other to let the home go into foreclosure when the other doesn't want to?
Seems to me, as the law is written, that since assets are divided when there is value in the assets that debt should also be divided when more is owed on the assets than what they're worth, such as an upside down home.
I would like to keep the property to live in and continue to make the mortgage payments, but my spouse would like to walk away scott free while I bear the entire burden and obligation for the debt. If there were equity in the home, I would buy out my spouse's share of the claim and own it outright. Is it unreasonable for me to ask that my spouse pay for half the current debt so I can own it outright? Or is there a double standard when it comes to assets and debts?
Thanks in advance to anyone with legal knowledge in this matter.