My husband is financially irresponsible and has accumulated over $15k in secret credit card debt. There is probably more out there, but this is what I am aware of right now.
The house and mortgage are both solely in my name. We have no joint credit cards, loans, or bank accounts. I am worried that his creditors will come after my income or my house due to his failure to pay. Also, I am concerned that he will be able to use my name and info to secretly obtaim more credit cards/loans now that he has exhausted his ability to gain credit on his own.
How can I ensure that what I have remains safe from his creditors and from his reckless spending? I'm considering separation/divorce in order to completely separate myself from him financially once and for all. Will this work?
As far as your husband's creditors are concerned, as a general rule, they have no right to come after you for your husband's debts. The exception would be for necessities such as medical bills. Since your home is titled in your name only, a judgment creditor will have no right to come after you for your home. If your home is considered marital property, the court will in all likelihood grant your husband an interest or percentage of the home regardless of the fact that the title is in your name only. How a court handles this problem would depend upon whether there are children of the marriage and the facts surrounding the purchase and maintenance of the home.
The only way for a new creditor to hold you responsible for your husband's debt would be if he forged your name on a credit application. It is very difficult to prevent such a thing from happening, however you could either periodically check your credit reports with the various credit reporting agencies or subscribe to one of the one line services that alerts you as to any new accounts or increases/decreases in balances.
A divorce judgment, separation agreement or judgment of separation would completely separate you financially from your husband, however if you get separated or divorced, the court could hold you responsible for some portion of your husband's debt if the court determined that the debt was marital. There are also many other issues concerning divorce that cannot be answered adequately in a forum such as this.
You should consult with an experienced divorce attorney in your area.
Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitution for legal advice. Answering a question does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, you should consult or retain legal counsel.
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline