Thursday, August 28, 2008

How to avoid liability for a spouse's debts?

Is there a way other than divorce to be free of spouse's future debts? That questions assumes that marriage by itself creates liability for a spouse's debts. That has not been the case in Indiana (except for a narrow exception for necessities) for many, many decades.

The second best way to avoid liability for a spouse's debts is to not cosign any loans or credit

The best way requires a prenuptial agreement (if not yet married) or a post-nuptial agreement (if already married).

If you are an Indiana resident wanting a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, please give me a call.


Anonymous said...

What must be in Indiana for me to be protected from my spouses debts, e.g.

1) Our marriage license?
2) My residency?
3) My spouse's residency?
4) My spouse's debt (i.e. creditor)?
5) Combination of the above?


Sam Hasler said...

First, anonymous, you ought to have read the disclaimer above the post. I cannot give advice here on specific legal problems.

Second, I thought the post was very clear about how to protect one's self. Could you explain what is unclear about the post?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sir, I originally used general terms, but felt that pronouns reduced the wordiness of my question, so I rephrased it using "my" and "our" rather than "the debtor", "the spouse of the debtor", etc.

I was asking my question specifically about what your post seemed to state as specific to Indiana ("the case in Indiana"). I guess I am so ignorant in your area of "Divorce & Family Law" that I don't even know what the requirements might be for a case to be covered by laws specific to Indiana, but can imagine that my 4 points above might affect this.

But as you can see, my original post was far less wordy :(


Sam Hasler said...

No, I am sorry that my original post was unclear. I thought it was clear that not co-signing for a loan avoided liability. Then a pre- or post-nuptial agreement also offered protection. None of the items you mention really matter - if you are a resident of Indiana, then you are liable to jurisdiction of Indiana court's for any judgment entered against you. Out-of-state creditors may sue you in Indiana courts. These same protections and rules apply in other states.