If my husband owned a business prior to us getting married, is there any chance that his business debts can come back and fall on me?

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If my husband owned a business prior to us getting married, is there any chance that his business debts can come back and fall on me?

We have only been married for 3 months and he had this business over 6 years ago. He has been served paperwork stating he has to appear in court for a debt that he owes the leasing company. Since he won’t be appearing, we know that after that a judgement gets placed and then they can go after wages.

Asked on July 30, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are NOT liable for your husband's debts incurred prior to marriage because those debts are his separate property.

Separate property is property acquired before marriage.  Separate property also includes income and debt before marriage.

Community property is property acquired during marriage.  Community property includes income and debt during marriage.  If your husband's debts had been incurred during marriage, you would be liable because the debts would be community property.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The judgment could be satisfied out of any joint assets that the two of you own, to the extent of your husband's share. So if you have a joint bank account, any money in it from him or his income can be potentially taken; if you jointly buy a house or other property, a lien could be placed on it; etc.


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