Premarital debt, marriage, creditors and divorce
When you get married, you are probably so in love that you think you and your spouse can work through anything that comes your way. When your spouse has debts coming into the marriage (even from estates), things might not be so easy, especially if you worked to get your credit score up before you got married. Our readers in Virginia might be interested in learning some facts about debts and marriage.
One thing that you can do to keep yourself protected is to sign a prenuptial agreement that outlines who is responsible for what. While you won't be totally protected from the effects of your spouse's financial affairs, you can make it a little more difficult for your assets to be comingled. As difficult as this is to think of, it might be a way to stop creditors from seizing your assets if your spouse can't pay up.
Since creditors aren't a party that signed the prenuptial agreement, they might not be willing to abide by the prenuptial agreement. This could mean that they could go after your assets. Trusts and similar structures might help to insulate those assets, but even that isn't a surefire protection method.
When the debts from your spouse become overwhelming, you might be tempted to get a divorce. If you do decide that you have to get a divorce to protect yourself, you should make sure that you keep your interests protected. This means carefully scrutinizing the property division agreement in the divorce to ensure that you aren't having to cover your spouse's debts and that your spouse isn't getting the assets you worked hard for.
The attorneys at Hale Ball can assist with any needed changes that come with divorce (like name change). This includes both traditional legal marriages and common law marriages. Contact our team today for legal aid.
Source: Bankrate, "Can you divorce your spouse's debt?" Marcie Geffner, Nov. 19, 2014
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