No. of Recommendations: 2
I am looking for information and general ideas about how to separate finances from a legal perspective when married and living in a community property state.

I understand eventually I need to talk to a lawyer and that nobody on here is giving me legal advice. I'd just like to be better informed before shopping for lawyers.

What's happening is that my husband and I keep separate accounts for everything. My income is mine, his is his (from our perspective). I pay most or all our living expenses, we live in my house from before the marriage. Turns out he is rather terrible at paying bills ontime and consequently has had several accounts in collection that keep popping up. In one recent collection it went to court for "entry of default" judgment and I got named on the lawsuit because of living in a community property state. I frequently don't hear about any of it unless I happen to see a suspicious letter in the mail and open it first.

I haven't checked my credit report lately (I'm planning to) but my credit rating should be very high, it was last I checked. Nothing ever late, low debt utilization, etc.

My first goal is to protect myself, my credit, my assets from getting attacked or damaged due to his actions or inactions with creditors. I am wondering if there is a legal way to do so... for example (too late now but) a prenuptial agreement disclaiming community property, separate accounts (which we have) with some kind of legally binding agreement or document that our accounts are separate property not community property. Can I legally get access to his credit report, bank accounts, put watches on his credit reports? Other ideas?

Yes I have other goals like getting him to pay his bills ontime and clean up his own credit which I'm guessing is wrecked currently and may take years to age off his record. But as I said my first focus is to protect my assets and my credit rating.

Thanks in advance
Print the post  


UGC Disclosure Notice Regarding Credit Card Posts
Community board discussions about credit cards are not provided or commissioned by banks who may have advertising relationships with The Motley Fool. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
TMF Credit Center
The Motley Fool Credit Center arms you with real tools and simple messages, that will help you in every credit situation.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.