Will I be responsible for my husbands debts if we marry? 19 Answers as of February 04, 2011

When I get marry, will I inherit my husband’s credit card and other debts?

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Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
No. In California (a community property state), property and debts acquired before marriage are considered that spouses separate property or separate debt. However, any property or debt acquired after you get married will be considered community property or community debt.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/4/2011
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
No, you will not be responsible for his debt.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 1/24/2011
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
Probably not in a legal sense, but once you're married, your finances tend to get commingled in ways that cause you trouble if he's in financial distress.
Answer Applies to: South Dakota
Replied: 1/22/2011
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
No, but if you live in a community property state, any debts you incur after you get married will be community debts. For more details you should consult with a family law attorney as this really isn't a bankruptcy question.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
While you are not personally responsible for separate property debts (debts incurred prior to marriage), if you commingle your funds (put them together in one bank account), you are subjecting your funds to being taken if a writ is executed on the joint account. I would strongly suggest that you avoid being added to any credit accounts where there is a balance. That should prevent you from becoming personally liable for those debts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Short answer, no. You are not responsible for his premarital debts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    The Pedigo Law Corporation
    The Pedigo Law Corporation | Brian T. Pedigo, Esq.
    Under California community property law, property acquired during marriage is generally community property and treated as the property of both spouses; and debts incurred during marriage are generally the liability of both spouses. [See Calif. Fam.C. 760, 910]

    Property and debts acquired before marriage are separate property debts. You can make an explicit written agreement with each other about how you want to treat the respective assets and debts. Changing from one form to another is called transmutation.

    See an estate planning lawyer if you have substantial assets and debts that you are concerned about.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    No, you will not be liable for your husband's debts before the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    DiManna Law Office, LLC.
    DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
    No, not if it isn't already joint debt.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation | Sally S. Chan, Esq.
    Generally separate debts are separate property. Thus, it is fair to answer that you are not responsible for your spouse's debt.

    However, in a marriage, your assets will begin to commingle. In most cases, those debt balances will continue years into a marriage. By then, creditors may seek to collect and lien against property that is community property and the spouse may be affected and/or dragged into litigation.

    If you have a spouse with significant debt, be sure to your own assets separate. If 1 spouse purchases a home in the future and places spouse 2's name onto the property, this is considered a 'gift' to the spouse. This spouse's creditors will be able to get their hands on it to satisfy their judgments in the future.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
    Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
    Debt he incurred while single does not become your obligation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    No, you will not be responsible for his debt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    Great Question. It depends on what state you're in. Here in CA we are a community property state. All debts and all assets prior to marriage are separate property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    I assume your question relates to community property states such as California. Pre-petition debt continues to be separate property. In practice, however, since property acquired post-petition, including both spouses' salaries, are community property, the pre-marriage creditor may be able to collect from such property anyway. For example, Spouse 1 is the original debtor; however, after marriage, the spouses own each other's salaries; thus, the creditor can collect on Spouse 1's debt from Spouse 2 because Spouse 1 owns Spouse 2's salary, too. Sometimes it is best for a person saddled with debt to file for bankruptcy relief before getting married.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi | Brian H. Nomi
    You are not responsible for your future spouse's debts. Once you marry, however, community property law generally makes spouses liable for the debts they incur during marriage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    Debts from before marriage are usually considered separate debts of that spouse, and you will not be personally liable for those debts. However, your husband's interest in property acquired during marriage may be used to satisfy those debts. If it is a big concern for you, you may want to consider doing a prenuptial agreement that would protect your assets and separate prior debts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You won't be responsible for any existing debt. However, his creditors can attach assets that you own jointly such as bank accounts. So, if you have joint accounts, his creditors can levy those accounts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
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