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As to my previous question, without a legal separation or…

As a follow up to...
As a follow up to my previous question, without a legal separation or divorce, is there a way to ensure I cannot be held jointly responsible for any debts or financial liabilities that she may incur?
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/23/2017
Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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You can enter into a post nuptial agreement to keep debt separate.

Otherwise, not really, and especially not in a community property state.

Any debt a spouse incurs while married is presumed community debt.

I am sorry. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I do not want you spinning your wheels on this and incurring liability unknowingly.

If (and only if) you are completely satisfied that your question is answered professionally and accurately, even if not the answer you were hoping to get, please remember to leave a favorable rating (click 5 stars in the rating section on this page). It is the only way that I am credited by JustAnswer for answering your question.

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Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37,814
Experience: 30 plus years of experience.
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Loren and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks

You are very welcome.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Assuming we establish a post nuptial agreement to remain independently responsible for debts incurred after our date of separation (Sept 2007), would this agreement need to be filed with a court to be valid if/when one of her creditors were to attempt to collect a debt she is responsible for from me?

You would need to file it with the court if you were sued by a debt collector over her debts.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Would this be filed bis family court as a post-nuptial agreement or something else?

It is probably not going to have an effect on current creditors directly.

The problem is that California law presumes that liabilities incurred by someone during marriage are community property and either spouse can be held liable. A creditor who does not know about a postnuptial agreement can pursue either spouse. It is then up to the spouse who was not responsible for the debt to pursue the other spouse for indemnification.

The only way to avoid this situation is to record the postnuptial agreement so that a potential creditor is put on notice that the debt is the responsibility of only one spouse. By making it public record that there is no community property, or that there will be no community debts, it is not reasonable for a creditor to rely on community property rules.

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