Can I Protect Myself From Debt Accrued By My Wife In Our Marriage?
There are ways to protect yourself from the debts of your spouse that are accrued during the marriage. The easiest way is to make sure your spouse signs a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, but you should not try to do this on your own. Prenuptial (premarital) agreements are complex documents. You do not want to foolishly download some form you find on the web. Doing so can result in a defective document being signed, destroying your plan of protecting yourself from debts incurred by a potentially spendthrift spouse. It is shocking to see how many people are penny wise but dollar foolish. They later regret it when they are forced into financial slavery for years because they wanted to save a few bucks on a prenuptial agreement.
These same people will spare themselves no expense in making sure they enjoy good vacations, luxury cars, meals at high-end restaurants, etc., but then they are cheap when it comes to the security of their financial future because they have been brainwashed by the “do it yourself” culture into thinking that they can easily handle the drafting and negotiation of legal documents on their own. If you are already married, you may be able to convince your spouse to sign a postnuptial agreement, which is like a prenuptial agreement but is signed after the parties get married. Again, you have to proceed wisely and not try to do such a complex thing on your own.
Do not bargain shop for the cheapest lawyer out there. Be smart. Find an experienced attorney who can help you achieve your goal in the safest way, even if that means paying a bit more than you would like to. Major corporations spend millions of dollars on armies of lawyers to protect their interests. You should treat yourself as well as these soulless entities do when they seek to protect their own interests. But if your wife will not sign a postnuptial agreement, your worst case scenario may be to file for a legal separation or divorce.
When a divorce or legal separation petition filed in Arizona is served on the other spouse, the community (the legal status of being responsible for half your spouse’s debts) ends for any assets or debts acquired from that point forward. Keep in mind that if you remain married you should not have a false sense of security in thinking that you are protected because all the debt your spouse is incurring is in her name alone. Under Arizona law, for virtually all debts incurred during the marriage, both spouses are equally responsible for it regardless of which spouse incurred the debt or in whose name the debt is listed.
A consultation with a good, experienced Arizona divorce attorney can be one of the best decisions you can make to protect yourself from massive financial exposure due to a spouse who cannot control her spending.
For more information on Protection From Spouse’s Debt, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (602) 788-1395 today.