Does your future spouse assume any oftheir partner’s debt accrued before a marraige?

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Does your future spouse assume any oftheir partner’s debt accrued before a marraige?

My spouse is going through a foreclosure on a home that he purchased before we met. During our 5 year courtship, I have added him to my bank accout, bought a timeshare with him, and purchased a boat with him. Can the bank touch my bank accout, time share, and boat if it there are put solely in my name before the wedding?

Asked on November 4, 2010 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Changing the nominal owner of an asset (i.e. putting it in someone's name) when it's not a bona fide sale or other transaction will not prevent savy or alert creditors from going after the asset: in this case, where the two of you are married and so putting it in your name does not deprive your spouse of access to or the benefit of the asset, it's clear that the change was pretextual, designed solely to try to hide assets from creditors; as such, if creditors become aware, or even suspect, that the assets had formerly been owned by the two of you, they could try to set aside the transfer as a deliberate fraud on creditors. You may need, if you're worried about a large deficiency judgment in relation to the foreclosure, to consider bankruptcy as an option.


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