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Is it safe to marry a man with Tax debt or will his debt automatically transfer to me when we marry?

Indianapolis, IN |

I have been with my boyfriend for 12 years and we have never gotten married for fear of my inquiring his tax debt. Is there any way around this?

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Attorney answers 4


A spouse does not absorb the debts of the other simply be marrying him. If you do marry and then file a joint return you will expose yourself to his tax obligations under most circumstances for that tax year (not prior years).

It is a good idea to consult a local family lawyer just to make sure you understand any and all issues that can arise.

Most of us here offer a free phone consult.

Best regards,
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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While your separate property will not be automatically subject to his creditors, you should consult with an attorney who is well versed in the property laws and creditor collections in your State.

You will, though, subject any refund from a jointly filed return to seizure.

This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship, Moreover, this attorney is Licensed to practiced law ONLY in LOUISIANA and answers to questions from other jurisdictions or states are meant to provide only general information. Users should contact a local attorney in their jurisdiction or state.


it is a shame that you have waited 12 years. If you file a joint tax return, the IRS and State will keep any refund. Nevertheless, if you adjust your W-4 and file as married filing separately, you should be okay, Check with your tax lawyer or CPA.

Ron Cappuccio

If you do not like this answer or disagree, please look at one of the other answers provided. It is not necessary for you to try prove this answer is "wrong" or something with which you do not agree. This is a free service for you based on limited facts. Nevertheless, many times you need to consult an attorney with the details to get actual advice specific to your concerns. Do not put too many details in your questions or comments because this makes the information public and could hurt you. Government Regulations contained in IRS Circular 230 regulate written communications about Federal tax matters, including e-mail, between us and our clients. This is another attempt by the government to limit your rights and to extend the control of government over individuals and businesses. Nevertheless, such communications are either opinions or other written communications. This is not an opinion. It is other written communication and was not written to be relied upon, by itself, to avoid any tax penalties. In order to receive assurances of protection from tax penalties from a written communication, you should get an opinion letter. If you would like to discuss an opinion letter relating to any matter, please contact me and I will explain what is involved and what it will cost.

Veronica L. Jarnagin

Veronica L. Jarnagin


I think you misunderstood her question: they have NEVER married.


I HIGHLY recommend that you consult an attorney to prepare a pre-nuptial agreement that specifically sets forth that NEITHER your debts nor his will ever obligate the other AND that neither of you agrees to co-sign any credit card account or loan. You could, of course, also set forth separation of assets as well as these debt liabilities. But to properly protect yourself, hire an attorney here in Marion County to represent you. Please call me if you would like to engage my professional assistance. In any case, hire your own separate legal counsel.
veRONIca jarnagin, atty, pc

veRONIca jarnagin, atty, pc 317-253-7664 provides this response as general guidance and not specific legal advice. If you wish to receive specific legal advice for your situation, please call to schedule an appointment.

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