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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
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When two people, seniors, one on disability, marry and have

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When two people, seniors, one on disability, marry and have separate assets, and one enters a nursing home, assets of both parties can be taken or liened to satisfy payment to the nursing home. If these people divorced, can the assets of the other still be seized? If so, is there a solution other than living together in sin? We are in Florida.

TexLawyer :

Good afternoon. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

If the parties are divorced, the assets of one spouse cannot be taken to satisfiy the debts of the other.

TexLawyer :

As for seizing your separate property to pay the nursing home debt, that is a much more complicated issue.

TexLawyer :

One spouse has a duty to provide for the other spouse's essential needs, which includes food, shelter, etc.

TexLawyer :

Also, the wording of the contract with the nursing home is significant. If you jointly took the debt, then your separate property is subject to forfeiture.

TexLawyer :

So, if a judge were to find that this is a joint debt, your assets are at risk.

Customer: So,,, I still don't understand, What if there is a legal separation? I'm assuming that means nothing, however. It's sort of not being able to have your cake and eat it too eh? If one needs the benefits of the one in the nursing home, divorcing shuts that off. Separated, you are still married. And I also assume a nursing home would insist on both parties signing a contract before admitting. These answers are the same no matter which state?
TexLawyer :

The state does matter, but my answers are Florida specific. That said, most states follow similar rules.

TexLawyer :

Let me do a little research on a few matters. It should take about an hour or so and I will get back with you. Is that OK?

Customer: I do appreciate your answers and understand that it can be complex. It's just others have advised that divorcing can save assets. But probably not benefits. Thank you! I can pay now and still wait? By email, chat?
Customer: Oh also my property is in CT.
TexLawyer :

You don't need to pay until the answer is complete

TexLawyer :

Is this property real estate?

Customer: Yes. A few. Most mortgaged
Customer: Sorry had a freeze up
Customer: I got an email to rate you...but you asked that I wait an hour or so. Are we finished?
Customer: Are you online?
Customer: I was kicked offline and am back.
Customer: I know you can get back to me via email so I will rate and pay you now. Thank you!
Chris T., JD and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the information. I didn't expect anything clear cut but you did give good advice, albeit not one that makes me any happier ;-). Have a good day and thanks again!
Thanks for understanding. Good luck!

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