If my wife was at fault in an auto accident and is being sued, can they garnish my paycheck?

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If my wife was at fault in an auto accident and is being sued, can they garnish my paycheck?

My wife was in a serious auto accident about a year ago. Unfortunately, there was alcohol involved, and both parties were seriously injured. She’s is currently serving 1 year in work release program. Criminal court did not order restitution. But civil case is pending. They are suing for hundreds of thousands. Can they garnish my paycheck? Will putting our only vehicle in my name only keep it from being taken?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Indiana


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

In most states in this country one-half of a marriage's assets is at risk for a judgment against one of the spouses when a spouse commits a tort during the period of the marriage and there is a resulting judgment.

Hopefully you have a good policy of insurance concerning the automobile that your wife was driving when the accident happened.

Potentially if there is a resulting judgment, a certain percentage of your paycheck could be garnished as it relates to one-half of your wife's interest in your paycheck as a portion of the martial interest in it.

Vehicles having a value up to acertain amount are typically exempt from a levy to satisfy a judgment.

I suggest that you consult with an attorney experienced with asset protection to assist you and your wife concerning the current civil action pending against your wife.

Good luck.

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