Is one spouse responsible if the other spouse gets a dwi or an accident?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is one spouse responsible if the other spouse gets a dwi or an accident?

I am recently separated from my husband and
am wondering if while we are living separately
and he gets a DWI or in some other legal
trouble, am I partly responsible to pay any debt
or will authorities come after me in any way?
We are currently under the same car insurance
and this is in Minnesota.

Asked on December 26, 2018 under Family Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) You are not criminally liable for his DUI, of course.
2) You are not personally liable for any amounts he may be sued for or have to pay in fines.
3) However, his share of joint bank or investment accounts, his share of jointly owned property or real estate or other assets, etc. is subject to collection by someone who sues him and wins. Therefore, assets which you think of as "yours" because they are in a joint account or are otherwise jointly held, or which you are anticipating you may have access to in the future, could be encumbered by anyone suing, etc. him. And sometimes it is hard to separate whose assets are whose; you may therefore wish to make sure you keep anything you earn, buy, etc. separate from him.

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 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.

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