Financial Liability

Though you addressed this to the attorney, I’m going to answer also.
You should get a separation agreement drawn up stating what will be her responsibility from the marital debt. There is little that you can do until you do separate to keep her from increasing marital debt.

Once you are separated, all debt incurred by either of you is considered separate and will not be your responsibility. But as far as creditors go, things that have both names on the account means that both of you are equally responsible. After separation or prior, I would suggest closing as many joint accounts as possible.

My question is, IF you are certain that you are going to separate, why allow her to wait until Spring? Especially if you are concerned about her increasing marital debt…Separation can not begin while you are both living in the marital residence and until that time all assets and debts are shared. The separation agreement, regardless of when it is signed will reflect the date that you separate.

Hi, Thanks for the response. The reason for waiting to separate is financial. It takes both our incomes to pay for everything now, we’re already close at our limits - for her to move out would simply cost more than we could afford. We are putting money asside as we can, but it will take some time. Ultimately, we both want this - we just can’t make it happen right now. I’d rather it happened ASAP, but I suppose we can only do what we can do.



Hi Helena,

We moved to NC about 2 years ago after having to sell a previous house we could no longer afford to keep. We currently have significant debt (25k in credit cards, 2 car payments, and an 8k home equity loan) that I thought we were going to pay off.

She has decided to leave me. She is absolutely terrible with money; she simply does not understand it. After she moves out, which she expects will be sometime in early spring 2008, what can I do to protect myself from her accruing more debt that I would be liable for? Or should be have a separation agreement BEFORE she moves out, at which point (from my reading on here) I would not be liable. My understanding is that we would want a separation agreement first.

So the question is, once separated, can I shield myself from being liable for debt she incurs during the separation?

Thank you very much!