Does legal separation protect my credit history if my spouse files bankruptcy? 8 Answers as of April 07, 2011I am in the process of a legal separation, and my husband wants to file bankruptcy, will I be affected if he does this after the separation is finalized? Our bank accounts, credit cards, assets are separate (and always have been). We have never commingled any assets or debts, and all his debt was incurred before we were married in 2008, however we filed taxes jointly in 2009, and will file MFS in 2010 (I'd like to file as single but believe I cannot since separation was not finalized at dec 31 2010). I am worried, and wonder if we should just get a divorce so my name/credit history will be safe.
Law Offices of Michael T. Krueger | Michael Krueger
In California debt incurred during the marriage is considered "community debt" and you are responsible for 50% of the debt. If the debt was incurred prior to marriage and you did not sign a document assuming responsibility for the debt, or the proceeds of the debt did not inure to your benefit then you are safe from the credit cards. In bankruptcy each creditor has a right to only what the creditor is owed. If your spouse's debt stems only from the credit cards then you are fine.
Answer Applies to: California
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
The only way your spouse (or soon to be ex-spouse) filing Bankruptcy will affect your credit is if you have joint debt and he stops paying it. Joint debt includes any credit card that you may have had a card issued in your name, even if the card itself is in your name. Your tax refund, if any, may be at risk however, your credit or name should not.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
A spouse's bankruptcy has no affect on the other spouse's credit and no other implication if all assets and debt liabilities are separate.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Law Office of Raymond J. Dague, PLLC | Raymond J. Dague
Divorce or legal separation is not a solution for your spouse's financial problems leading to bankruptcy. The credit is an individual thing, not a married couple thing. I have known many married couples where one spouse has many financial problems, and the other is completely unaffected by the bankruptcy or lawsuits against the financially challenged spouse. Of course if there are joint debts and joint assets, they need to be untangled. But the financially responsible party in a marriage is often unaffected by the bankruptcy of the other.
Answer Applies to: New York
Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
No problem. In most of America, he can file bankruptcy and you be unaffected if you don't have any joint debt seven if you are living together. (Now the rule is different in states where married people cannot keep their debts separate so called community property states. That's mostly states that have a history of Spanish law.)
Answer Applies to: Virginia