Can my husband’s wages be garnished for my debt?

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Can my husband’s wages be garnished for my debt?

I am getting sued for an old car loan. Can my husband’s wages get garnished even know we were not married when the debt accrued? In an equitable distribution state.

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In an equitable distribution state, a wife can't be held liable for her husband's pre-marital debt. The fact is that in a non-community property state there is no spousal liability for such debt. The only way that your husband would be liable for this is if he specifically agreed to be (e.g. as a co-signer), not just because you were married. However, if your creditor sue and are awarded judgement, then his assets as well as any joint assets (to the extent that they are non-exempt) will be at risk. So keep your bank accounts and such separate.


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