Is a wife responsible for the debts that her husband incurred prior to marriage?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is a wife responsible for the debts that her husband incurred prior to marriage?

My fiance and I are planning to marry. He owes back taxes because he did not have any dependents when he filed in the past. I’m buying a house in my name. Will this affect me because of him. Will my home be taken from me once we marry? We live in a non-community property state.

Asked on November 19, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, a wife is not responsible for the debts that her husband incurred prior to their marriage. In other words, a wife cannot be held liable for her husband's pre-marital debt. Consequently, her wages and separate personal property and assets cannot be garnished by her husband's creditor. At least in a non-community property state. So unless you were also on the debt or in some other way agreed to assume this debt, you are not obligated to pay it.

That having been said, once you are married if your husband's creditor(s) are awarded judgement(s), then his assets as well as any joint assets(to the extent that they are non-exempt) will be at risk. So keep your bank accounts and other assets separate (i.e. solely in your name).


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption