What is the proper way to hold a separated spouse liable for their responsibility for accumulated debt?

I’ve been separated for 2 months so far. Our debts include rent, utilities, credit card/loan debt and unpaid taxes. This year was not a good year for us. Total amount of debt close to $15,000, including a repossessed

vehicle. I’m looking at this from the point of view of the marriage license being a binding agreement for a business like partnership. Does this fit under the terms of abandonment?

Asked on December 17, 2018 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Alabama is not a community property state: any debts you incurred in your own name are your debts solely, just any debts youyr spouse incurred in his/her name solely are hers. You can hold him/her liable for his/her share of any debts in both your names, since all people who sign agreements or otherwise obligage themself to pay a debt can be held responsible for it. 
If the two of you are still married, even if separated, the best way to handle this is by filing for divorce: in the divorce proceeding, the court will (assuming you do not work matters out between the two of you) decide who should pay what and who receives how much of any property, money, assets, etc. owned by the two of you.


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