Will you be obligated to pay your fiancé’s debt after marriage?
When people decide to get married in Atlanta, it can be important for them to talk to their future spouses about finances before heading down the aisle. It has been said that going into a marriage with open eyes about each other’s financial priorities, goals and histories can help the relationship last.
What happens, however, if you find out that your fiancé has a complicated financial history? What if your fiancé is bringing a lot of debt into the marriage? What if he or she has filed bankruptcy in the past, or is planning to file bankruptcy soon?
The short answer is that your fiancé’s debts and financial past will not directly impact your own liabilities or credit.
When two people marry, the debts that they bring with them remain separate. Their credit scores also remain separate.
Debts that are incurred during marriage, however, may be the responsibility of both spouses. State laws vary somewhat when it comes to marital debt, but couples are typically jointly liable for car loans and mortgages.
If your fiancé is going to file bankruptcy in the near future, it might be wise to talk to a bankruptcy attorney. It is possible for one spouse to file bankruptcy without the other, but in some cases it might be wise to complete the bankruptcy before the wedding in order to keep things as simple as possible.
Talking about money and debt before marriage can be uncomfortable. However, when couples have these conversations they can make plans to tackle debt, contribute to the household and save for long-term goals. If it turns out that one or both people are struggling with unmanageable debt, it might be wise to speak with an attorney.
Source: Fox Business, “Will Fiance’s Old Bankruptcy Hurt my Credit?” Justin Harelik, Oct. 16, 2013