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Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
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Marrying into Debt

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2016 | Bankruptcy Basics, Divorce And Bankruptcy

You’ve found the one. You’ve planned the wedding. You’re ready to walk down that aisle, but you want to know, when your officiant asks “if you take this person to be your spouse, for richer or for poorer,” what are you agreeing to?

If your soon-to-be spouse is coming into the marriage with significant debt, you may be wondering whether you are also marrying their debt. Thankfully, in most instances the answer is “no.” Spouses do not assume each other’s credit score, nor do they assume  liability for the premarital debts that are not in their name. Nevertheless, spouses will be liable for debts they take on together after the marriage. More importantly, if spouses are sharing a household they may feel the stress of this debt and the drain on their finances as they help pay their spouse’s debt even if they are not legally obligated to do so.

While you do not assume your spouse’s credit score, their  having a low score and significant debt can dictate your ability to buy a house together or make big purchases together in the future.

For this reason, if your soon to be spouse has significant debt, consider scheduling a free consultation with the attorneys of Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. before you say “I do.” Our attorneys can help advise you and your partner as to whether bankruptcy or other measures could help improve your financial situation. In some cases, filing for bankruptcy before getting married can have big benefits. By filing and receiving a discharge before marriage, you and your partner can start married life with a fresh financial start. Since money is one of the primary reasons couples fight and even divorce, it is important to know where your future spouse stands on these issues.

Further, if your partner is in significant debt, it is likely that their credit score is low to begin with and filing for bankruptcy may not have an impact on their score. By filing before marriage, they can start the process of rebuilding credit and come into the marriage without the baggage and stress of debt.

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If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, let us help you explore all of your options. We are bankruptcy lawyers who know how to give you a fresh financial start. Contact our New Jersey law firm online by filling out the form or by calling 973-323-2953 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C..