If my husband has debt when we marry am I liable too? 11 Answers as of February 06, 2013

If my husband has debt when we get married, am I responsible for his debt as well? What if he dies, is that my debt now?

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The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
In most cases, debt that is acquired prior to marriage remains the separate debt and liabilities of each party. If he were to die during the marriage, then the creditors can go after any portion of his estate, which would include any joint marital assets that are acquired during the marriage. If you are concerned about inheriting any of his debt, you may want to consider signing a prenuptial agreement which will help ensure that all separate debts and liabilities will remain separate throughout the marriage.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/6/2013
Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr.
Law Office of John C. Farrell, Jr. | John C. Farrell, Jr.
This issue can get rather complex. But the short answer is if the debt occurred prior to the marriage then the debt remains his. If you live in what is called a community state then all debt occurred within the marriage belongs to the other. When you husband dies and the debt remains it becomes debt of his estate on which a creditor can file a claim.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 2/6/2013
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
In any marriage there are three estates, his, hers, and theirs. You are not liable for his individual debts, and pre-marriage debts, but will be liable for those things which you jointly agree to undertake. I'm answering this question under Michigan law. If you remain confused you should call attorney for my offices immediately. Prior to the time you to enter into a marriage you should be fully cognizant of what your undertaking.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/4/2013
Lyndon Ruhnke, PC
Lyndon Ruhnke, PC | Lyndon Ruhnke
You are not responsible for your husband's debts incurred prior to marriage and will not be responsible for them if he later dies.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/4/2013
Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
No, his debt does not become your debt due to the marriage. It is only if you assume said debt, then it becomes yours, or if you join his accounts.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 2/4/2013
    Syndicate Legal
    Syndicate Legal | Neil Bhartia
    Technically if the debt was incurred prior to contemplation of marriage and your marriage the it may not be considered community debt under the community property rules in California. It is likely that the creditor would not also pursue you for the original debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You are not liable for anything that you did not co sign for.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Stacy Joel Safion, Esq.
    Stacy Joel Safion, Esq. | Stacy Joel Safion
    No, you are not.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Ken Love Law | Kenneth Love
    No, you are not liable for his debt. Married persons are never liable for their spouse's debt, unless they sign on to it themselves. When your husband passed, his estate will be liable for any debts, but yo will not be personally liable.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Christensen Law Group, PLLC
    Christensen Law Group, PLLC | D. Michael O'Neil, Jr.
    Absent your agreement, you are not personally liable for your husband's pre-marital debt. If the statute of limitations on your husband's contract to pay his creditor has not expired at the time of his death, the creditor could file a claim against your husband's estate.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 2/4/2013
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    If your husband's debt is in his own name and you do not agree to be responsible for it, you are not responsible for it just because you marry him. If he should die, his estate, not you would be responsible for debt in his own name. If is estate does not have any assets, they the creditors would be out of luck and they could not come after you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/4/2013
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