The length of time a disposition will affect her depends on what course of action she chooses. Bankruptcy, for example, lasts 7 or more years. As to whether it will affect you... The creditors should not be able to go after you, your income, or your separate property to settle this. They can go after her income and her half of community property. That might affect you directly. Does it affect your credit? Perhaps not directly but if her score drops to 436 and you apply for joint credit then you are affected.