Determining If You Are Accountable for Your Spouse’s Debt

Spouse’s Debt

The way a couple handles their finances is a very private matter. Many people pool their resources to achieve their financial objectives, such as starting a family and purchasing a home. Others maintain partial or complete financial segregation. 

No matter what method you use, everyone enters a relationship with a financial condition that already exists. It could sound scary if that also includes debt.

It’s crucial to have frequent and open conversations about money, even if your spouse’s debt does not affect your credit. It’s crucial to understand what your future partner’s financial condition means to you because debt is one of the main reasons for divorce.

In the following paragraphs, find out more about the complexities of debt among married couples.

Your Spouse’s Student Loans or Car Loans

People might enter a relationship with debt in a variety of ways. Student loans and auto loans are two of the most typical types, while other types such as mortgages, personal loans, or lines of credit are also possible. 

Similar to credit card debt (unless you choose to combine your obligations formally), your partner’s debts are not your responsibility.

To start their lives together and pay off their combined debt, several couples choose this choice. It may be important to share some financial responsibilities in order to start a family or buy a property. It may not be enjoyable or simple to plan the family finances. 

Still, it is crucial that both couples are aware of and agree on their responsibility and what is to remain independent.

Your Spouse’s Credit Card Debt

Even while you cannot be held responsible for your spouse’s credit card debt, there are several situations when it can have an impact on you if they stop making payments. Your home may be the subject of a lien from creditors, even if you own it jointly. 

A lien is a claim made against real estate because of unpaid debts, including taxes. You are unable to sell your home or refinance your mortgage when there is a lien on it.

Joint Debt

By executing a formal agreement to share that burden, married couples can bear joint debt. Lenders may request that both spouses sign as co-borrowers or that one of you borrows while the other co-signs as a guarantor on the loan. 

Both of you are in charge of adhering to the conditions and paying payments, whether you’re a co-signer or a guarantor. Both of you could be held entirely and exclusively accountable if one of you ceases upholding the conditions.

You are entirely liable, not just half, if your spouse defaults on payments on a joint credit card, mortgage, or personal loan.

Conclusion

Being a guarantor for debt has significant financial obligations. If a person has bad credit or no credit history and wants to apply for a loan or credit card, they may ask a responsible individual to serve as a guarantor. Even if your spouse wants you to serve as a guarantor, you should exercise caution. 

Because it is your debt, treat it as such. If your spouse doesn’t make their credit card payments on time while you are the card’s guarantor, you may end up taking on their debt.

If your case requires family law in Langley, Dreyer Davison Lawyers LLP is the firm to trust. We have diverse experience across family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing. Contact us today, and our lawyers will assist with any family law concerns.

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