Is a husband liable for his wife’s pre-marital debts/liabilities?

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Is a husband liable for his wife’s pre-marital debts/liabilities?

I am being sued by a family for a non-DUI accident I was involved in while living in FL. I now live in PA and my fiance is scared to marry me because he worries that he will get involved and they will be able to take his house, car, and/or other assets. I can’t find a lawyer in FL who is willing to help me and no one I have spoken with from there knows the PA laws. I really want to marry this man.

Asked on May 12, 2011 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is good news and bad news for you.

The good news is that a spouse is not directly responsible for the pre-marital debts of his/her spouse.

The bad news is two-fold:

First, jointly owned assets acquired after marriage, such as a home, a car, a joint bank account, can be targeted by a spouse's creditors. Thus, items which were purchased in part with the other spouse's money are things that a creditor can reach.

Second, a bad credit rating for one spouse can certainly affect the other, when the couple is looking to buy a house, finance a car, etc.

There should be ways to reduce the risk and shelter your fiance's assets. You and he should consult with a PA attorney (a lawyer in the state in which you now live). Good luck.

 


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