Community Debt Hold Harmless My sister’s husband is a deadbeat.

Community Debt Hold Harmless
My sister’s husband is a deadbeat. She kicked him out 4 months ago for two basic reasons: dishonesty and financial irresponsiblity. She is not prepared for a legal separation or divorce at this time. He has accumulated debts of approx 20,000 (back taxes, loans, etc). Is their some legal form that we could get him to sign where he holds my sister harmless/relieves her of any liability relating to these debts? All debts were incurred while married to my sister, some debt in his name only, some in both their names.

One thought on “Community Debt Hold Harmless My sister’s husband is a deadbeat.

  1. Re: Community Debt Hold Harmless
    You could have him sign a “post-nuptial” agreement which delineates property rights & debts. You’ll want to make sure it’s professionally prepared because if they end up divorced, he may try to fight it in court. Courts are getting better about upholding these types of agreements (think “Barry Bonds” case) but they’re not ironclad. Use an attorney or paralegal with experience in drafting prenuptials.
    The real problem is that although your sister and her husband can make an agreement between themselves as to who pays debts, that agreement doesn’t bind creditors who extend credit to your brother-in-law without being made aware of the agreement. Under community property laws, both spouses can be held responsible for debts. If this fellow is a deadbeat, he may fail to pay creditors, who then chase your sister for the money. She could sue her husband under the agreement, but if he doesn’t have the money or pulls some other deadbeat-type move, she’ll end up stuck after all.
    As a supportive sister, maybe think about helping her find a counselor or support group that will help her to understand why she puts up with this behavior from her husband? I’m sure she doesn’t deserve it….and without her taking action, it’ll probably only get worse. Good luck.

    Diana Mercer
    Peace Talks Mediation Services
    8055 W. Manchester Ave. #201
    Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

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