Uncontrolled Spending - legal questions


#1

Since we’re married (20 years) my wife has controlled our finances. I let her do it and these last years basically she does what she wants (one of many marital issues). If that means overdrafting and when that runs out running up the VISA - she just keeps on going. She self employed, I find out she has not been paying taxes quarterly (we file jointly) so natually we have a tax burden. Long story short we owe a lot. I am getting ready to pay off this debt, close the VISA account and change the finances so my paycheck is no longer in a combined account. I am also planning on switching the payments so I will pay mortgage, and many other billls)
Questions are (we still married now - lousy marriage):

  1. If she opens any credit in her name am I legally responsible for that debt?
  2. The saving account is from an inheritance (me) and i’m going to move that to a new account too - Shouldn’t be an issue right?
  3. I am planning on leaving her some normal bills to pay but I will be paying the bulk of the bills - is this even a legal issue or is this just domestic probloem?

#2

if you’ve co-mingled the inheritance (savings acct) and have been drawing from it regularly, it’s considered a marital asset that can be split…and not yours to keep.


#3

Thanks for your reply however the only thing that’s ever been in that savings account has been my inheritance. 90% of the total went into the house for remodeling and I’m trying to keep her from blowing the remainder.


#4

(1) You are and aren’t “legally” responsible for that debt. The creditors cannot come after you unless that debt is in your name. The creditors can get a judgment against her, and if that judgment is recorded in the county in which you own real property, and the real property is in both your names, it will have to be satisfied at the sale of the property. Further, if the debt is acquired during the marriage, it is marital in nature and can be divided in equitable distribution.

(2) Your spouse might be upset with you for moving the money, but she has no legal recourse. Nowin is partially correct. Inheritances received during the marriage are considered your separate property. If you commingled funds and cannot “trace out” what your inheritance is, then you have converted it to marital property, but it does not sound like that is a case in your situation if the only thing that has ever been in that account has been your inheritance.

(3) This is not a legal problem. As long as the parties are not separated, these are marital debts/expenses and assets.