What is the proper way to hold a separated spouse liable for their responsibility for accumulated debt?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is the proper way to hold a separated spouse liable for their responsibility for accumulated debt?

I’ve been separated for 2 months so far. Our debts include rent, utilities, credit card/loan debt and unpaid taxes. This year was not a good year for us. New Link Destination
tal amount of debt close to $15,000, including a repossessed

vehicle. I’m looking at this from the point of view of the marriage license being a binding agreement for a business like partnership. Does this fit under the terms of abandonment?

Asked on December 17, 2018 under Family Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Alabama is not a community property state: any debts you incurred in your own name are your debts solely, just any debts youyr spouse incurred in his/her name solely are hers. You can hold him/her liable for his/her share of any debts in both your names, since all people who sign agreements or otherwise obligage themself to pay a debt can be held responsible for it. 
If the two of you are still married, even if separated, the best way to handle this is by filing for divorce: in the divorce proceeding, the court will (assuming you do not work matters out between the two of you) decide who should pay what and who receives how much of any property, money, assets, etc. owned by the two of you.

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.

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