How do I protect my assets from my fiance’s debt after we are married?

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How do I protect my assets from my fiance’s debt after we are married?

I’m engaged, and have great credit. My fiancee has multiple collection accounts, mainly IRS bills. I do own a home. I do not have any collections or negative credit. We live in CA, which I know is a community property state. His collections were from the IRS in KS. He also owes the state of KS unpaid car registration fees from 2005 which he just found out about and unpaid property fines in MO for city ordinance violations.  Can collectors come after my assets?

Asked on September 9, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to speak with an attorney. The short answer is, creditors of your now-fiance can come after that share of jointly owned assets or property, or of community property, which is your to-be-husband's share. Even things you purchased yourself could, under certain circumstances, end up being considered marital or community assets. There are, however, ways to shield your personal property, such as by keeping it in your own personal name (not jointly owned or titled); pre-nups, which makes it clear which property was acquired individually prior to marriage; possibly putting some property in trust. An attorney can evaluate  your situation and suggest the best protective techniques for your unique situation. You need to speak with the attorney and put the protective practices in place prior to getting married, so don't hesitate.


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