What to do if my recently deceased wife and I were physically and financially separated for 8 years but now I am now recieving debt collection notices?

I am now recieving debt collection notices on her accounts. Am I responsible?

Asked on September 17, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Probably.  Spouses are jointly liable for most debts incurred during the course of the marriage.  You were physically separated, but were not legally separated or divorced.  Unless one of you filed for legal separation, then you are probably liable for all of her debts. 

California is a community property state and most debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage are owed by the "community" (the couple), even if only one spouse signed the paperwork for a debt. The key here is during the marriage.

Best of luck.

 


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.