Will my future huband’s debt become mine?

UPDATED: Jan 27, 2011

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Will my future huband’s debt become mine?

I am getting married in a few months in CA, but we live in AZ. Will my future husband’s debt become mine, and will his credit affect mine? I realize if we apply together than yes, I’m just worried that if my credit is pulled, his previous/on his own stuff will reflect in my report.

Asked on January 27, 2011 under Family Law, Arizona


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

AZ is a community property state.  And in community property states, most debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage are owed by the "community" i.e. (the couple) even if only 1 spouse signed the paperwork for a debt.  However, if a spouse incurrs a debt prior to marriage, it won't automatically become a joint debt; it remains separate debt. Therefore, in your case, you cannot be held responsible for repayment. 

Note:  In order to collect on such a debt, a creditor can however go after the responsible spouse's half of the community property to repay the debt. 

As for your credit report, try to maintain separate accounts a much as possible.  Although, even for joint accounts, his bad credit shouldn't be reflected on your report (unless the joint account goes into default or posts late payments).

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