questions & answers
Question: Am I responsible for debt incurred prior to marriage at anytime?
Whether a person is responsible for debt incurred prior to marriage depends on the facts of that person's specific circumstances. To find out how the law applies to your specific circumstances, you may want to consult with an attorney. The following is provided as general information.
In Arizona, generally when debts are incurred prior to marriage, they are considered “separate debts.” Spouses are not generally responsible for the separate debts of the other spouse. A spouse can become responsible for separate debts if he or she agrees to be responsible for the separate debt. This information is stated in the Arizona statutes: A.R.S. §25-215.
A. The separate property of a spouse shall not be liable for the separate debts or obligations of the other spouse, absent agreement of the property owner to the contrary.
B. The community property is liable for the premarital separate debts or other liabilities of a spouse, incurred after September 1, 1973 but only to the extent of the value of that spouse's contribution to the community property which would have been such spouse's separate property if single.
C. The community property is liable for a spouse's debts incurred outside of this state during the marriage which would have been community debts if incurred in this state.
D. Except as prohibited in section 25-214, either spouse may contract debts and otherwise act for the benefit of the community. In an action on such a debt or obligation the spouses shall be sued jointly and the debt or obligation shall be satisfied: first, from the community property, and second, from the separate property of the spouse contracting the debt or obligation.
A.R.S. § 25-211 states that "All property acquired by either husband or wife during the marriage is the community property of the husband and wife" except for certain exceptions which are listed directly in the statute. A.R.S. § 25-213 discusses what is considered separate property.
Again, this answer is provided for informational purposes only. Each person may have specific circumstances that may make certain cases and othre statutes apply. You may want to consult with an attorney to find out how the law applies to your specific situation.
Am I responsible for debt incurred prior to marriage at anytime?
- Please select your county of residence below.
State Bar of Arizona
Maricopa County Bar
Referral number 602-257-4434
Pima County Bar
Referral number 520-623-4625
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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