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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5357
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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Can my creditors pursue my wife over my debts? Background.

Customer Question

Can my creditors pursue my wife over my debts?
Background. We married just 13 years ago.
We have no joint financial interests ie no joint bank accounts, property or business interests.
My debts were in place before we married and have been kept in background by paying interest. Now having lost contracts the interest cannot be paid, and since I have no assests the creditors are contacting in my wife who has property and a high income.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

Under Australian law, a creditor is not entitled to recover a personal debt against a spouse just on the basis they are married to the debtor.

The only time that a creditor may be able to recover in this way is if either the spouse has signed a guarantee for the debts in question, which is sometimes done as part of a loan arrangement, or if the debtor has assigned assets to the spouse on a non bone fide basis. Absent such considerations your spouse's assets should be safe.

That said, the creditors may be trying to pressure your spouse on the basis that if she pays up she may be able to spare you from bankruptcy, but that does not mean your wife has a legal obligation to pay up.

I trust the above assists your understanding.

Good luck and please rate my answer.