Is there any way tonot be heldresponsible for husband’s financial/criminal activity before a divorce is final?

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Is there any way tonot be heldresponsible for husband’s financial/criminal activity before a divorce is final?

My friend has only been married 3 years and discovered her husband was a total liar after they got married. He is an alcoholic, visits prostitutes, and owes the IRS a ton of money. She wants a divorce but it will take time for her to have the money to leave. In the meantime, is there anyway she can disassociate herself from his finances? She is terrified he will hurt someone while drinking and driving and continue to charge up the credit cards.

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

Stephanie Squires / SquiresLegal Services

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In California, the "date of separation" determines when the parties stop being responsible for the others financial debts, not the date the divorce is filed.  Date of separation is when one party has definitively decided to terminate the marriage and does not want to try to reconcile. There is no requirement, in CA, that the parties must be living in apart to be "separated".  However, in your friends case, if she were in CA, I would suggest that she make the "separation" known to prevent possible problems due to husbands behavior, by filing for "dissolution" or "legal separation".  She should also act as a "separate" person by opening her own bank accounts, trying to establish separate credit etc...


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