Does a Legal Separation Protect Someone From The Debts of Their Spouse?

If you are thinking about leaving your spouse, you may be considering filing legal separation. There are many reasons why people file for legal separation instead of divorce. You may be unsure if you want to divorce at this time, you may not meet residency requirements to file for divorce, or you may not know where your spouse is, so filing divorce can be tricky. Regardless, you may be wondering if filing legal separation protects you from the debts your spouse is racking up. Here is some information you should know.

Past Debts

The laws vary from state to state as to whether you are responsible for your spouse's debt. If you live in a state where you can be held liable for your spouse's debt, filing for legal separation will not help you with any past debts. As such, debt collectors can generally go after you if your spouse accrued debt prior to the date you filed for legal separation. There are some exemptions to this, such as if you can prove they were racking up debt specifically to harm you in a divorce, but these exemptions are few and far between.

Future Debts

Legal separation can protect you from the debts of your spouse effective the day you file for legal separation. Once you file, you are no longer liable for any new debts your spouse takes on.

If you are thinking about filing divorce or legal separation, and you have concerns about the debt of your spouse, you should consult with a divorce attorney. They can help you figure out the best route to go to protect your current and future finances.

If you're looking for a qualified attorney to help you in your divorce case, contact the team at Gerkin & Decker today. From estate planning to business lawyers - we're there. Contact us here to schedule a consultation! 

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