Debt incurred prior to marriage. Who’s responsible in Washington state?

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Hello. I am curious to know if I marry my girlfriend, if I’d be legally responsible for any of her past finacial debts (prior to our marriage date.) Vice-versa, would she be liable for any of my past debts, such as credit card debt (prior to our getting married?) For example, she got way behind in her car payments while going to college (which by the way, she graduated with high honors :) However so, her car recently got repo’d. *Unfortunately, she didn’t secure a job in time to repay car debt and therefore lost her car. Other than past medical bill debt(s), this car is the only debt that will show on her credit report. We both were curious as to whether or not we’d be responsible for one another’s debts once we married or if we’d only be finacially responsible for the debts we accrue together (once married.) We hope to get some valid answers. BTW, we live in the state of Washington (if this makes a difference.) Thank you very much.

2 comments for “Debt incurred prior to marriage. Who’s responsible in Washington state?

  1. BKornman
    July 24, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I want my future wife to not be responsible for my prior debt. I know it can be done, but how?

  2. Mydrive
    July 28, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Important notes to answer your concern:

    • you are not responsible for pre-marriage debt
    • If you refinance any existing debts after marriage this counts as new debt that happened during the marriage and you are now responsible
    • you only become responsible if you add yourself as a joint user on an existing account – while this is one of the easiest ways to build an established credit history (if you don’t have one) but it also makes you responsible for the accounts debts

    hope this helps
    have a great day!

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