In California if at the time of divorce there is debt tax to IRS, are both liable? Ex filed innocent spouse and IRS granted it

Asked about 2 years ago - Concord, CA

Our MSA only says to split assets and debts not specific at all. Just want to know if I can take him to court to make him pay his half for not abiding by MSA

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Evan A Nielsen

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you can. While the IRS may allow him to avoid having to pay under innocent spouse relief, that does not change the state court's order in the MSA. If the agreement when the decree was entered was that the parties divide the debts then you may prevail so long as you can establish that the tax debt is joint. However the innocent spouse designation will likely be used by his attorney as a defense. So you'll have to prove the point to prevail. You'll definitely want to consult with an attorney and get some competent representation on this one.

    Good luck.

  2. Raymond F. Haselman

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, I agree. You should understand that the IRS is not required to follow the MSA, although they are supposed to give due consideration. A contempt charge could possibly be filed in the family court of jurisdiction for violation of the MSA.

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Dividing debts in a divorce

Responsibility for debts acquired during marriage may fall upon both parties after divorce, even if only one spouse incurred the debt.

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