Am I responsible for debt incurred by a legally separated spouse?

UPDATED: Aug 23, 2011

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Am I responsible for debt incurred by a legally separated spouse?

I married my husband 10 years ago, however we separated 2 years later and we are not and have not been in contact since then. I received a letter in the mail from an investigator hired by an attorney to locate me stating that my husband was trying to file for bankruptcy but he was unable to do so without my signature due to the fact that we were never legally divorced. Am I responsible for his debt? Am I required to sign this paperwork? What are the ramifications of signing and also of not signing? Do I have to file for bankruptcy because he is?

Asked on August 23, 2011 Nevada


J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good afternoon,

Thanks for posting to our site. To get right to your question I strongly urge you to hire an attorney. Your questions are complex and require additional information to be properly answered. One point is that you are not required to file for bankruptcy just because your husband is.

What I cannot answer is whether you are responsible for his debts. It depends on what state you were married in, whether the legal separation entitles you to a separation of assets. You most likely will need to sign the paperwork because it is a procedure required for a person linked during a bankruptcy but again do not sign without an attorney review.

It all depends on whether your joint on accounts, when they were opened, and in order to properly analyze you need to organize all your financials and sit down with an attorney to make sure your protected

Good luck

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 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.

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