Are you liable for debt that your ex-spouse acquired before divorce but after separation?

Separated for 3 years.

Asked on March 22, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, as a general rule you are not.  Under IN law, the creditors are out of luck.  They may not go after the husband, even though the divorce is not final.   That is unless you somehow agreed to be or the debt is one that is covered by something known as the "doctrine of necessaries".  This doctrine comes into play when:  

  1. The debt is incurred for the necessaries of life (such as food, or medical needs).
  2. The spouse receiving the item is absolutely unable to pay for it.
  3. The other spouse is able to pay for it at that time.

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