Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Now.
Common law marriage in Rhode Island is established by showing: (1) serious intent to be married and (2) conduct that leads to a reasonable belief in the community that the man and woman are married.
If you hold yourself out as married, the bankruptcy court is not likely going to challenge that.
Rhode Island is not a community property state, so one spouse is not legally liable for the individual debts of the spouse. Thus, either spouse can file bankruptcy and have his/her personal debts discharged without effecting the other spouse.
The only time the non-filing spouse is effected is when there is a joint account. In these cases, the bankrupt spouse is relieved of his/her obligation, but the other non-filing spouse remains 100% responsible for the debt.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).