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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Im being told that since WA state is a shared property state

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I'm being told that since WA state is a shared property state regarding marriage that I can be held accountable for my spouse's criminal fines, since some states look at the fines almost as a "civial judgement" for lack of a better term. I'm trying to find out what kind of lawyer I need to be looking for, as someone mentioned a bankruptsy lawwer? Ugh, this is so complicated. Thanks, Kim
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
WA is a community property state. This means that all of the assets and debts accumulated during the course of a marriage belong to both spouses in an equal and undivided share. Thus, if one spouse gets a fine or debt during the course of the marriage can come out of the marital funds from both spouses. The only way around this is if the parties have established a separate property regime prior to the occurrence of the debt. Thus, if there is a marital debt and there is no money to pay it, then bankruptcy may an option, but fines for crimes, taxes, student loans or child support cannot be extinguished in bankruptcy. You need to sit with a family law attorney to discuss how to best protect yourself.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks so much for your assistance. Kim
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. Please do not forget to click on accept.
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