How To Protect Yourself from the Debts of a Spouse Pre-Post Marriage

How To Protect Yourself from the Debts of a Spouse

Pierre Domercq Community Property Division

Are you wondering how to protect yourself from the debts of a spouse.  There are many ways debt can be quickly accumulated.  One of the first issues to address is perhaps student loans.  It is not uncommon for each of the parties to have student loans as they approach a marriage.  If the amount of each is relatively equal it is probably not as much an issue as if one would-be spouse has significant student loan debt when compared to the other.

A prenuptial agreement is an effective tool for managing many complex issues prior to a marriage. Student debt is a good reason to consider a prenup.  In most cases student loan debt remains the separate property (obligation) of the party who carried it into the marriage, but these discussions can become quite clouded when you consider the use of marital assets to retire student debt.

The ownership of a business prior to a marriage is also a candidate for discussions concerning a prenuptial agreement.  A prenup help to protect yourself from the debts of a spouse and establish ground rules to prevent marital funds and assets from being commingled with business assets and debts.  This can also protect the business owner in the event of a divorce.

Many people are not aware it is possible for spouses to enter into contractual agreements after they are married (especially if a divorce is a foreseeable option).  Postnuptial agreements are simply contracts between married spouses which memorialize agreements made between the parties regarding many issues including the distribution of debts or assets.  It is important to note that a postnuptial agreement does not eliminate your obligations to creditors as a spouse in the event of a collection matter.

Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements can address many of the issues concerning debts and assets before and during a marriage.  If you are wondering how to protect yourself from the debts of a spouse we invite you to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.