My fiance needs to file bankruptcy. If we get married before he files, will his debt fall on my credit?

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My fiance needs to file bankruptcy. If we get married before he files, will his debt fall on my credit?

My fiance needs to file bankruptcy. If we get married before he files, will his debt fall on my
credit?

Asked on May 23, 2017 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you specifically agree to be responsible for the debt (e.g. co-signed for it) or are a joint account holder, you are not responsible for the pre-marital debt of your soon-to-be-spouse. That having been said, being married can affect whether or not your soon-to-be-spouse qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Currently, total household income is taken into account for the bankruptcy means test. This test calculates if the filing spouse has enough money to repay their debt (or at least a part of it). If, for the 6 months before filing, they have more than $100 of income left over after living expenses, they may not qualify for Chapter 7. And if they get married before filing, both spouse’s incomes are used to determine eligibility, so if your fiance wants to file for Chapter 7, it may be best to file before you get married.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, his pre-existing (prior to marriage) debt does not become yours unless you specifically guaranteed the debt, assumed it (or took it over), or co-signed for it, in which case you would be liable for the debt to the extent you agreed to be. But otherwise, adult 1's pre-existing debt does not become adult 2's when they marry.


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