The facts: Man wishes to marry Woman. Man has no assets. Woman has no assets. Woman has large amounts of student loan debt and probably some medical debt. Her medical problems are ongoing and likely to be fatal at some point, especially with the recent return of her pineoblastoma. How much of her obligations would transfer to the young man should they marry?
State/Country relating to question: Alabama
Nothing else. The states of Mississippi and Louisiana could be involved as the couple may live in either state, but Alabama is where the nuptials will take place
Hi. I'm an attorney and I'll help you today. As a general rule, debts that are incurred prior to the marriage are separate debts, so those debts would remain woman's debts. As a general rule, debts incurred during the course of the marriage are marital debts. In some state, a spouse can be held responsible for the other spouse's medical debts absent actual notice to the provider that the spouse will not pay those debts. Finally, where you actually live ultimately will be determinative on the issue of what obligations are transferred to young man in the event of woman's death.
Also, you should keep in mind that you could potentially contract with regard to debt. Given the health issue involved, it may be a good idea to meet with a family law attorney in the state where you will ultimately reside to address the concerns about future medical debt.
I do not understand 'contract with regard to debt.'
Would you tell me what that means?
I'm sorry - I mean that you could sign a prenuptial agreement that addresses who is responsible for what debt that is incurred during the course of the marriage. The contract could also require that each of you notify any health care provider of the terms of your marital contract so that the other spouse is not held responsible for the debt.
Please let me know if I've answered your question fully.
Ah, of course. This all makes sense. Additionally the couple should speak with a lawyer in the state they plan to reside in. Thank you for the clarification. Let's hope my son listens!
Thank you! Good luck to them.
Family law attorney with extensive trial experience
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