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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11641
Experience:  JD, MBA
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My husband and I just reached a settlement between us that

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My husband and I just reached a settlement between us that seems favorable to me. However earlier he had said he would remain separated from me for two years so I could have insurance and later his social security. Then he withdrew that. The settlement still seems favorable, however I have bipolar disorder and PTSD and really need health insurance. The COBRA would take up a sizable chunk of what I would have monthly after investing the lump sum. He refuses because he feels I am going to do something crazy which he will then be liable for. For instance I stated that I would just leave and do heroine for the rest of my life - and he feels being separated and not divorced from me would make him responsible. What can I say to convince him otherwise?
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Unfortunately, there is some truth to the notion that he could be liable for you or your conduct even while separated. For example, while you remain married, your husband's assets which are now considered community property would continue to be community property. If you were to do something for which another person may have reason to sue you, then the community property can be seized to pay for the damage. Moreover, if you were to require medical attention or other necessities while married, then your husband could be forced to pay since spouses are generally required to pay for such things even when separated.

In order to convince your husband to remain married but separated, you may wish to offer to sign an agreement whereby you contractually agree to pay for any such expenses if he should be held liable. You could also agree to put the money into a trust so that if you were to do something to cause your husband liability, then that money could be immediately taken from you to reimburse your husband. That would provide your husband with security during the separation, and the trust could automatically expire upon the divorce.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I thought there was language you could put into a settlement account that would remove the other person from liability?


Could you direct how to find out about setting up such a trust?



Hi again.

Q: I thought there was language you could put into a settlement account that would remove the other person from liability?
A: There is language that you can use that would state that you would indemnify your spouse, or that you'd be liable for a specific debt. But that language doesn't affect the debt itself. For example, let's say you are each co-signers on a credit card. You can sign a contract with your husband whereby you agree to be liable for the entire debt. But if the credit card goes unpaid, then the credit card company could sue your husband. If he presents your contract with him as a defense in court, he will lose. The reason is that the debt is owed to the credit card company, and so only the credit card company can release your husband of liability. You have no power to release your husband of liability for a debt that he owes to a third party. So, your contract with your husband is meaningless as far as the credit card company is concerned. Your husband's only recourse would be to sue you for breaching the contract. But that's little solace if his credit is destroyed and his wages are garnished by the credit card company.

Q: Could you direct how to find out about setting up such a trust?
A: I strongly recommend that you retain an attorney to set up a trust. Setting it up alone would be like filling in your own cavity instead of visiting the dentist. That said, there is no law that prevents you from setting up your own trust, and forms can be found online. CLICK HERE. Of course, a form like that is very basic and general. The kind of trust that you need is very unusual, so there won't be an exact form. If you choose to proceed without an attorney, then you can use the form as a template, but then alter it quite heavily to add the specifics of your situation.

Does that help?

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