Is it true that if I marry someone who has an outstanding debt with the IRS that the debt will carry over to me upon marriage?

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Is it true that if I marry someone who has an outstanding debt with the IRS that the debt will carry over to me upon marriage?

My boyfriend has a large unpaid IRS debt going back to 2002. He met with IRS today and they told him he has until 2018 to pay, but that if he doesn’t make over $100K/year he probably will not pay for that particular year. I have an excellent credit rating. If we were to be married, would this debt carry over to me (as well as the rest of his credit rating or problems)?

Asked on August 12, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the debt is in his name they can not attach your earnings.  However, they can attach marital assets which include refunds from joint tax returns, real property, etc.  If I were you I would consult with a financial planner in your area as to what to do.  He can not avoid the debt by doing anything illegal - like hiding assets.  And that would only get you in trouble as well.  But you may need to keep your financial lives separate for a while until he can pay the debt off.  This will also have tax implications for you.  Seek help from someone who knows what they are talking about.  Good luck.


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