*you still owe on the date you separate, or
*you take on after your separation date to maintain family property.
====There are exceptions to the equal division rule====
*whether a spouse, after separation, caused a significant increase or decrease in the value of debt or property, and
*whether a spouse may have to pay taxes as a result of a transfer of property.
====Some property is excluded from the equal division rule ====
Some things are not family property. They are ''excluded'' from the rule that the property must be divided equally. For example, these things are excluded:
*Property one spouse owned before the relationship started.
*Gifts and inheritances given to one spouse during the relationship.
[[File:Estranged parents with child.jpg | right | frame | link= | <span style="font-size:60%;">Copyright www.shutterstock.com</span>]]
But if the value of excluded property increased during the relationship, that increase in value is family property. For example, suppose you owned the house when your spouse moved in. When you separated, the value of the house had increased 100%. Your spouse would be entitled to half of that increased value.
You may need a lawyer’s help to figure out what is family property or debt. To find a family law lawyer, see the [[Find Out More in Learning about the Law | Find Out More]] section.
If you think the arrangements about property and debt are unfair, you can go to court and ask a judge to divide family property or debt.