Married Into Debt?

: Chris Lee Law Firm

  Filed under: Debt

marriage debtPeople are waiting later in life to get married these days, which generally means they are bringing more baggage into the marriage. As people age they tend to carry more problems with debt and may even be paying hundreds of dollars a month to creditors. The tricky part about marrying someone who is carrying a large debt burden is what happens to that burden after you are married. While debts accumulated individually will not automatically become the spouse’s responsibility, they can be held  liable by creditors if the debtor files for bankruptcy in marriage.

 

I Do

Those two small words now means that your worlds are tied together forever, including your money. Although his debts from before marriage are still legally his responsibility, any shared assets you accumulate after marriage may be at risk if he was to file for bankruptcy later on. Why?

Owning property in marriage is considered common property, which means you both own it equally. If he files for bankruptcy on debts that he acquired before you were married, those creditors may attempt to collect on any common property he owns as an asset. By filing for bankruptcy separate from you he will be able to minimize the potential for credit damage done to you, but will still leave you at risk for suffering asset liquidation. Further, any joint accounts held by you both in marriage will likely be affected by the bankruptcy.


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