Am I responsible for his debts in this case? If so can the creditors garnish my wages?
I am in the process of filing a divorce, but can not afford to hire a lawyer . Can you give me an advise how to protect myself from his creditors ? I have filed chapter 7 ( 5 years ago ) , if I need to file bankcruptcy what chapter would you recommend ? Appreciate your response.
Family Law Attorney
All debts incurred during a marriage in Wisconsin are considered marital debts, meaning both parties are responsible, unless proven otherwise. You are doing the right thing by going through a divorce. You will want to show the judge that the debts were incurred solely by your husband because of his gambling problem. Most likely, the judge will assign the debts to your husband in a property division, giving him the sole responsibility to pay them back, if he does not pay them back and the creditors still come after you, you can take him back to court.
Retaining an attorney is always your best option.
You cannot file a Chapter 7 unless 8 years pass from the filing date of the first case. If the parties want to go after you for the debts they will have to sue you. At that point you woyuld hav to Answer and assert your defenses.
Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship.
Even in community property states, spouses are not responsible for paying each others gambling debts or debts on accounts that are just in the name of one of them. You didn't indicate whether or not your name was on any of his accounts as a joint debtor, so I am not able to fully answer your question.
Until 8 years have passed since you last filed your Chapter 7 & received a discharge, you are not eligible to file another Chapter 7. So it sounds like your only choice in bankruptcy would be Chapter 13. Hope this perspective helps!