Will my new spouse be liable for my financial problems? 4 Answers as of May 01, 2011

My domestic partner and myself are thinking about getting married after 9 years living together. Over the past 25 years or so I have not filed tax returns either with the IRS or State of California and have accumulated somewhat of a liability issue for myself, as well as having back child support arrears accumulating for the past 30 years. My wife to be hopefully has been more responsible than myself with her life and owns her own home as well as accumulated some financial assets for herself, my main question is she going to be responsible for my past financial mistakes.

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Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
No. In general, no.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/1/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Very rare, however if you file joint returns those refunds can be seized for your tax obligations.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/26/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Your wife-to-be won't be held responsible for your premarital debts, but any community property of you and your wife-to-be could be held responsible. Family Code Section 910 provides in relevant part that the community estate is liable for debts incurred by either party before (and during) marriage.

Family Code Section 911 provides in relevant part that the earnings of a married person during marriage are not liable for a debt incurred by the person's spouse before marriage, and that those earnings remain not liable so long as they are held in a deposit account in which the person's spouse has no right of withdrawal and are not commingled with other property in the community estate. Among other things that would be appropriate to protect your wife-to-be from your premarital debts, your wife-to-be should have her own account in her sole name for the deposit of her earnings, you should have no right of access to that account, and nothing but her earnings should go into that account. Additionally, any and all separate property owned by your wife-to-be should remain in her sole name. Also, you and sheshould timely and properly enter a into well-draftedPrenuptial Agreement prepared by an experienced Family Law Attorney which provides, among other things, that there shall be no community property, and that any property and/or assets that are acquired during the marriage shall be and remain her sole and separate property, and that you would not acquire any right, interest, reimbursement right or credit for any contribution that you may make, whether in money or in skill or labor, to such property and/or assets.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/25/2011
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
Her assets may become liable for your debt if you fail to establish careful protective measures, which can easily be done. Therefore, these protective measures should be set up PRIOR TO marriage.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/25/2011
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