Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Thanks for your question and good afternoon.First off, New Jersey is not a community property state and you can't be held liable pursuant to the community property laws fro credit cards and other accounts solely in the other person's name.The only exception is when there are medical bills Under the "doctrine of necessaries" which can make one spouse responsible for the other spouse's debts. In recent years this doctrine has been applied mainly to medical debts & some states have even abolished the doctrine. However, this is what the New Jersey Supreme Court had to say about the doctrine: The court recognized marriage as a "shared enterprise and a joint undertaking" that is "akin to a partnership." As a result, the court held that a creditor who provides necessaries to one spouse can assume that the financial resources of both spouses may be used for payment; however, one spouse may only become liable for the debt when the resources of the other spouse who incurred the debt are insufficient. So here any credit cards or other credit accounts the answer is no.If spouse has medical bills then a court might hold you liable under the doctrine of necessaries.As long as it is not say a medical or doctor bill only their estate is liable for such debts.
You have the right idea to the degree possible to keep your accounts here including credit and banking separate as to minimalize your liability.
I appreciate the chance to assist you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.
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