If I’m getting married soon and want to know if my wife will be responsible for my medical debt?

I have some outstanding debts, mainly medical. I have had 5 heart attacks and on disability. I don’t want these debts put on the shoulders of my future wife; that is not fair to her. Is the a pre-nup contract/agreement where she is not responsible for the debts I incurred prior to our marriage?

Asked on January 14, 2013 under Family Law, Virginia


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

VA is what is known as an "equitable distribution state" (versus a community property state). In sucha state a spouse is not liable for any pre-maritl debts of the other spouse, unless they specifically agree to be (e.g. they co-sign for a bill, etc.). Additionally, they are not liable for any marital debts that they do not specifically agree to be responsible for or for those debts that are not joint. Although there is one exception to this, a spouse can be held liable for any medically necessary bills incurred on behalf of their spouse.

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