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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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I am married, these cards are in my name only, husband is not

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I am married, these cards are in my name only, husband is not an authorized user, and my accounts do not show up on his credit. We have a home and the mortgage is in my husbands name, I am on the deed and am considering removing myself to protect our home from liens in regards XXXXX XXXXX I have no income, cannot work, but our checking account at the bank is in both of our names. I want to know if they can garnish my checking account, when the only money in there is my husbands pay check, which pays for our house, his child support, and living expenses. And I have no assets such as cars, etc..., in my name.

Hello and thank you for allowing me to address your legal question.

California is a community property state. Community property is defined as the following:

760. Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property.

This affects the liabilities of a spouse to the extent that, generally speaking, community property can be used to satisfy the debts of just one of the spouses:

910. (a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, the community estate is liable for a debt incurred by either spouse before or during marriage, regardless of which spouse has the management and control of the property and regardless of whether one or both spouses are parties to the debt or to a judgment for the debt.

Unfortunately, your husband’s income is community property per the definition in 760, and it is liable for your debts per 910 unless you incurred the debt prior to your marriage, in which case the following applies:

911. (a) The earnings of a married person during marriage are not liable for a debt incurred by the person's spouse before marriage. After the earnings of the married person are paid, they remain not liable so long as they are held in a deposit account in which the person’s spouse has no right of withdrawal and are uncommingled with other property in the community estate, except property insignificant in amount.

If your debts were incurred prior to marriage, then your husband should open an account that you do not have access to, and have his income deposited there.

If the information that I provided was helpful, please remember to ACCEPT my post as that is the only way I will receive credit and compensation for my answer. Thank you and good luck!

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be sufficiently addressed in this setting. Accordingly, my post is intended as general information only, and should neither be construed as specific legal advice, nor as an adequate substitute for the retention of legal counsel.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you - this is very helpful. I'm actually doing this for a tv segment I'll be hosting on this topic.

What if the person is not in a CP state?

Also, do you have a URL you'd like me to promote during the tv segment?

What if the person is not in a CP state?

In most states the spouse would not be liable for the separate debts of the other. In those states, a spouse's debt can only be satisfied from his/her separate property, or from his/her share of jointly held property. In some states (North Carolina, for example), property that is held by both spouses as a "tenancy by the entirety" cannot be used at all to satisfy the debts of just one spouse.

Also, do you have a URL you'd like me to promote during the tv segment?


Please remember to accept my post. Thank you.
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