Pam,Absolutely. I just wanted to point out this may well be something you would need to consider as well. Let me discuss the divorce first, not because I am advocating it, but because it might be the safest avenue for you. Rather, this would not be a divorce but an annulment action. Since he failed to inform you of this judgment, you do have the basis to file for an annulment and to void out the marriage. The benefit of that factor is that all assets you brought into the marriage revert back to you, and joint assets are split to be made separate. Your assets are then not used to pay for his restitution claims. Otherwise anything that is jointly held, be it a property that you both have title to, or joint checking/saving accounts are all vulnerable to levy and garnishment. What is somewhat positive is that Maine is an 'equitable distribution' state pertaining to assets, which means that unless assets are under both names, the assets are deemed separate. To protect your assets, it would mean that you would need to transfer ownership solely under your name, or place it under a trust so that it would be harder to get at the assets. Problem with moving assets now is that courts may reverse the transfer on basis that it is being done to fraudulently deny the ability to seek recourse so late in the game, and may claim you to be liable as well in attempting to help him defraud the government. By seeking an annulment you could claim that you were an 'innocent spouse' and attempt to avoid being made responsible for his debts.Good luck.
Pam,An annulment is possible on the basis of extreme and substantial fraud, or in this case, him failing to disclose to you that he had this judgment out against him which now affects you and your finances. Your assets are at risk by being his spouse, so if you can show that he failed to disclose and if he did, you never would have married him, a claim for an annulment is quite possible.Good luck.
Thank you for your follow-up, Pam.You would need a good family law attorney and one who has experience with annulments, as most do not. I would suggest that you browse the listings at www.avvo.com and www.martindale.com for competent counsel. There you can search by fees, location, experience, and expertise. You can also review past client testimonials and peer evaluations as a means of comparing good attorneys who may be able to assist you.Good luck!
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