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


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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.