Can my wife’s property be seized for a debt I incurred before we were married?

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Can my wife’s property be seized for a debt I incurred before we were married?

I have approximately $100,000 in student loan debt for my son from a previous marriage. He has been paying but is beginning to have debt and credit trouble. If he stops paying, can my current wife be held liable in any way? We live in a home that she owned before the marriage. My name is not on the title.

Asked on December 7, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

One spouse is not obligated for another spouse's per-marital debt (unless they expressly agreed to be).  Therefore, your wife's assets cannot be seized.  However, to the extent that you share joint non-exempt assets, they assets can be taken by a creditor.  And if this student loasn is goverment guaranteed, a joint tax return can be garnished as well. 


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