Marrying someone means you’re willing to share your life with him/her. That’s a sweet expression, and truly it is! You have someone to help you, someone to talk to when you’re down and alone, and someone to share your happiness with.
But one thing nobody wants to take a share from – even between married couples – is debt.
If you’re worried about having a husband/wife that accumulates boatloads of debt, your best option is to simply not marry someone whom you see is living a lifestyle of debt. But if you really choose to marry that person (of if you’re already married to him/her in the first place), here are some ways you can do to protect yourself from his/her debts.
Before that, if you’re wondering if you’re qualified to file for bankruptcy, click that orange button above to take a FREE bankruptcy test. That way, you’ll get to know right away if you can file for bankruptcy or not.
Also, if you need a lawyer for your bankruptcy case, be sure to hire the best Riverside, CA bankruptcy attorney!
So, here are 4 ways to be protected from the debt of your spouse:
1. Close any joint accounts
Any joint accounts are tied to you and your spouse. That means that how much you put there is at risk should your spouse accumulate loads of debt (and the same is true for vice-versa).
The principle is simple: what is jointly owned by you and your spouse are at risk of any liquidation should your spouse fail to meet his/her debt obligations – this is true even if you don’t participate in any of those debts.
So, close any joint accounts if you sense that your spouse is having a really worsening debt problem.
2. Keep an eye on their spending
Learn how much they spend and where they spend it for. Do they spend a lot for TV, clothing, more house/auto loans, unreasonable travel expenses? Learn where they spend their money, so you have an idea on what to tell them – which is the next part.
Talk to them, heart-to-heart, about their spending (and debt) problem. Let him/her know that his/her spending habits is alarming you, and that it can cause financial trouble in the household. Also, talk to your spouse about reducing his/her expenditures and make any plans on how to do so.
Beyond these, still keep an eye on their spending. If they still spend and seems they won’t stop, the best thing you can probably do is to brace for any financial impact – including the possibility of bankruptcy. You can, however, manage to protect as many personal assets as you can should things go downward.
3. Know the law
There are some laws you need to know regarding this spouse debt issue, but for one, you should know that some states are community property states.
Community property means assets are joined and shared between married couple (except assets owned prior to marriage). So far, the US have 9 states following the community property rule:
- New Mexico
The rest are mainly common law property states, meaning married couples don’t share their assets (unless they named the property as jointly-owned).
If you’re in California, by default you’re under the community property rule. But it does not mean you can’t protect your assets anymore. Hiring a capable lawyer is one step to learn how to protect your assets in these situation.
4. Work with a qualified attorney
A qualified and capable attorney will help you secure as much assets as you can – this is true even if you live in a community property state. However, some attorneys have unreasonable legal fees that you would rather keep your money than pay it to them – on some occasions, even the consultation fee is expensive!
But a qualified attorney will nevertheless help you, so it’s worth taking the time finding an attorney that is:
- Capable and qualified
- Have relevant experience
- Cares for his/her clients
- Doesn’t charge unreasonable amounts in fees
If you’re looking for a qualified lawyer, look no more than the best Riverside, CA bankruptcy attorney!
If you’re wondering if you (or your spouse) is qualified for bankruptcy, a no-hassle way to learn is to simply take our FREE bankruptcy test. Just click that orange button above, take the test, and you’ll soon see the results!