Main site > MoneySavingExpert.com Forums > Household & Travel > Marriage, Relationships & Families > Am I liable for estranged husband's debts? (Page 1)

IMPORTANT! This is MoneySavingExpert's open forum - anyone can post

Please exercise caution & report any spam, illegal, offensive, racist, libellous post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com

  • Be nice to all MoneySavers
  • All the best tips go in the MoneySavingExpert weekly email

    Plus all the new guides, deals & loopholes

  • No spam/referral links
or Login with Facebook
Am I liable for estranged husband's debts?
Closed Thread
Views: 2,117
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
# 1
LouBLou
Old 29-03-2009, 12:12 PM
MoneySaving Convert
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: England
Posts: 25
Default Am I liable for estranged husband's debts?

This might have been covered elsewhere - if so, I'm sorry for the duplicate post.

I separated from my husband last year but have yet to start divorce proceedings. We agreed at the time to separate our finances (mainly debt!) and did so fairly amicably and with the bank's support.

It has since become clear that he isn't keeping up his repayments and, due to a clerical error at the bank, payments have been taken from my savings account for his loan and credit card repayments. The bank originally failed to remove his name from the savings account but this has now been done and the money is being returned to me.

Anyway, it got me thinking about whether the bank could legally take the money from me if he isn't making his payments. I am still his wife and I'm worried that might make me in some way liable. In this instance I'm getting the money back but it's made me worry about what they could do if they put their minds to it...

Does anyone know for certain either way?

Thanks in advance...Lou
LouBLou is offline
Report Post
# 2
money maker
Old 29-03-2009, 12:35 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: northern ireland
Posts: 9,583
Default

Are the debts still in joint names? If so then you are both liable for them I'm afraid and the bank can take the money out of either of your accounts that you hold with them.
One way around this is to move all of your savings to a different bank, but unless you can get your name removed from the joint debt, then it is yours aswell.
The two best things I have done with my life
DD 5/11/02 DS 17/6/09
Join the MSE gossiping girls & guys group on FB (PM your real name when you want to join )
money maker is offline
Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to money maker For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 3
LouBLou
Old 29-03-2009, 12:39 PM
MoneySaving Convert
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: England
Posts: 25
Default

Thanks money maker. No, his debt is in his name; my debt is in mine. We did have a joint current account which was put solely into my name last year. The same should have been done to the savings account at the same but the bank didn't press the correct big red button (or some such lame excuse!)

So, as of Friday everything is now in our individual names but I wondered if there was an implied joint responsibility because we're still legally married.
LouBLou is offline
Report Post
# 4
peachyprice
Old 29-03-2009, 1:18 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Beyond the Armoire
Posts: 13,938
Default

As long as they're not joint debts you are not liable for them, ever.
Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
peachyprice is offline
Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to peachyprice For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 5
LouBLou
Old 29-03-2009, 3:09 PM
MoneySaving Convert
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: England
Posts: 25
Default

That is excellent news and a real relief, thanks peachy!

I'd be heartbroken if I was working so hard to pay off my debts and then it could all be undone just like that.


LouBLou is offline
Report Post
# 6
cabbage
Old 29-03-2009, 3:48 PM
Serious MoneySaving Fan
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,074
Default

Hi

I don't wish to worry you unecessarily but you need to know that some debts are classed as "joint and several" whether or not both names are on the account. This means that both of you are liable for the full amount regardless of whose name is on the bill or took out the service. Usually this is because you've both had the benefit of the service.

Joint and several debts that spring to mind are council tax and utilities.

Most other debts if they are in your ex's sole name are his responsibility.
The Cabbage
Its Advice - Take it or Leave it
cabbage is offline
Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to cabbage For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 7
LouBLou
Old 29-03-2009, 4:27 PM
MoneySaving Convert
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: England
Posts: 25
Default

Thanks cabbage but I think (hope) I'm OK on that front. Really appreciate the heads-up though.

My debt is an unsecured personal loan; his is a combination of an unsecured personal loan and credit card(s). None of them have ever been in joint names though. Thank goodness!

When we separated I took control of all the outstanding household bills, settled them with the returned deposit from our rented flat, then split what was left 50/50. It seemed like a real chore at the time but, knowing what I know now, I'm glad I did it that way for my own peace of mind
...
LouBLou is offline
Report Post
# 8
MrsTinks
Old 29-03-2009, 4:58 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 14,164
Default

Also beware that unless it's an amicable divorce he might seek for some of the debts to be made your responcibility - say if all the debts in his name were run up together on fab holidays travelling the world together - the argument would be that you ran the debts up jointly. However that would be part of the divorce settlement - so nothing written in stone really.
Assuming the divorce is amicable this probably won't crop up though
MrsTinks is offline
Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to MrsTinks For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 9
LouBLou
Old 29-03-2009, 5:56 PM
MoneySaving Convert
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: England
Posts: 25
Default

Good point. But if it comes to that then I could argue the same about the half of the debt that I was left with too. And then some.

For what it's worth, the agreement to split it as we did was made with the bank's support. He also accepted a cash sum for the odd bit of money when the maths didn't quite work out. I'm not sure how that would stand up in court but it's something.
LouBLou is offline
Report Post
Closed Thread

Bookmarks
 
 




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

 Forum Jump  

Contact Us - MoneySavingExpert.com - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:01 PM.

 Forum Jump  

Free MoneySaving Email

Top deals: Week of 16 April 2014

Get all this & more in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email full of guides, vouchers and Deals

GET THIS FREE WEEKLY EMAIL Full of deals, guides & it's spam free

Latest News & Blogs

Martin's Twitter Feed

profile
  • RT @MoneySavingExp: Weekly email:Free breaking bad, top shares ISA, HOT bband deal ending, 2.5% cash ISA, Tesco wine sale, £10 champers.. h?
  • RT @MoneySavingExp: Ovivo closure: MSE?s reported the mobile firm to authorities. If you?ve been affected, here?s how you can complain http?
  • Right switching off Twitter now. Going back offline. Thanks to those of both sides tweets for making it a more enjoyable watch.

Cheap Travel Money

Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

Find the best online rate for your holiday cash with MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax.

TuneChecker Top Albums

  • VARIOUS ARTISTSNOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC! 87
  • VARIOUS ARTISTSFROZEN (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)
  • VARIOUS ARTISTSULTIMATE CLUB ANTHEMS

MSE's Twitter Feed

profile
Always remember anyone can post on the MSE forums, so it can be very different from our opinion.
We use Skimlinks and other affiliated links in some of our boards, for some of our users.