Alvin Schultz (plaintiff) and Carol Schultz (defendant) were married, and their marital community had a debt of $4,250 to Conrad Blasco. Blasco filed for judgment against Alvin. Alvin was no longer living at the marital home, although it continued to be his legal address. The notice of hearing was sent to the marital home address. Alvin did not receive the notice and did not appear at the hearing, and a default judgment of $5,000.00 was obtained. As part of the divorce proceeding between Alvin and Carol, the trial court invoked California Family Code § 2602 to deviate from the equal distribution of the community property, choosing instead to assign $3,500 of the debt to Alvin and $1,500 of the debt to Carol. Alvin appealed the trial court's decision.