If I re-marry, will my wife’s bankruptcy affect me?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I re-marry, will my wife’s bankruptcy affect me?

We are both widowed. She owes $270k on a house that she and her husband bought. She cannot afford the payments and will be filing bankruptcy. If we marry, can she file bankruptcy without affecting my credit (which is stellar)? If she doesn’t file, will I assume her debts?

Asked on January 17, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your wife files after you are married, as long as you have separate credit, than her filing should not affect your credit in anyway.  In fact, if you have no joint accounts or joint assets, then her bankruptcy will not affect you at all.  However, unless you are living apart and are legally separated, in a situation where only one spouse files, the income and expenses of the non-filing spouse is required so that the court, the trustee and creditors can evaluate the household's income (note: this will in no way obligate you, either legally or financially).  But for this reason she may want to file now.  Additionally, enteing a marriage with clean finances is always a good idea, so your fiance should consider filing now.

Is she does not file for bankruptcy, you will not become liable for any pre-marital debt (unless you specifically agree to be); such debt does not attach to a non-debtor spouse.  However, that having been said, if your spouse's creditors sue, win, and are awarded judgements, any non-exempt joint assets that you share will be at risk.  So in that event, you'd be well-advised to keep your bank accounts and the like separate.Obviously, to the extent you have joint accounts, he will be affected.  The same holds true for any joint assets not exempted by law.

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption