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wife being sued - divorce option

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  • wife being sued - divorce option

    My wife is being sued for an auto accident she caused. She is
    incarcerated and there is a possibility of lawsuit, though none has
    been filed as of yet. Her auto insurance presumeably takes care of the
    front line defense, but in order to protect my assets (I own my house,
    house is in my name alone, and I owned the house for 5 years prior to
    marriage). Although drastic, I am considering divorce to protect my
    hard earned assets.


  • #2
    wife being sued - divorce option

    Jonathan Jupp wrote:
    My wife is being sued for an auto accident she caused. She is incarcerated and there is a possibility of lawsuit, though none has been filed as of yet. Her auto insurance presumeably takes care of the front line defense, but in order to protect my assets (I own my house, house is in my name alone, and I owned the house for 5 years prior to marriage). Although drastic, I am considering divorce to protect my hard earned assets.
    Too late. If your State has laws making your property attachable by
    virtue of a judgment against her, then she was married at the time of
    the crash. Thus the divorce would be viewed as a form of unlawful
    conveyance just as if you thought someone was to sue you, you convey
    over all your property to a friend.

    If I were you, I'd spend $100 or so with a marital attorney of your
    State and find out what the laws are as applied to your circumstance.
    For example, was the house yours before the marriage? That can make all
    the difference in the world. At least find out what your current status
    is. You may be sitting ok as you are.

    -paul
    ianal

    Comment


    • #3
      wife being sued - divorce option

      In article <[email protected]>,
      Jonathan Jupp <[email protected]> wrote:
      My wife is being sued for an auto accident she caused. She isincarcerated and there is a possibility of lawsuit, though none hasbeen filed as of yet. Her auto insurance presumeably takes care of thefront line defense, but in order to protect my assets (I own my house,house is in my name alone, and I owned the house for 5 years prior tomarriage). Although drastic, I am considering divorce to protect myhard earned assets.
      Don't count on _that_ helping.

      *if* there is liability, it accrues _as_of_ the time of the accident.
      You do *NOT* escape from that by 'doing something after the fact'.

      Comment


      • #4
        wife being sued - divorce option

        "Jonathan Jupp" <[email protected]> wrote:
        My wife is being sued for an auto accident she caused. She is incarcerated and there is a possibility of lawsuit, though none has been filed as of yet. Her auto insurance presumeably takes care of the front line defense, but in order to protect my assets (I own my house, house is in my name alone, and I owned the house for 5 years prior to marriage). Although drastic, I am considering divorce to protect my hard earned assets.
        It depends on the laws of the state you are in - is there a law that
        could make you liable under the circumstances? Possible but
        doubtful. Talk to a collections lawyer before a divorce lawyer.

        The other thing to realize is that if there is insurance and your
        wife doesn't have a lot of assets in her own name, it's unlikely that
        the plaintiff will seek damages in excess of the insurance policy.
        Even if he could get it, the huge effort is generally not worth the
        amount extra they would get.

        Stu

        Comment


        • #5
          wife being sued - divorce option

          >"Jonathan Jupp" wrote:
          My wife is being sued for an auto accident she caused. She is incarcerated and there is a possibility of lawsuit, though none has been filed as of yet. Her auto insurance presumeably takes care of the front line defense, but in order to protect my assets (I own my house, house is in my name alone, and I owned the house for 5 years prior to marriage). Although drastic, I am considering divorce to protect my hard earned assets.
          Friend had similar experience, although he was incapacitated due to a
          stroke. They owned a restaurant at ages 45. He stroked out - after 3 heart
          attacks which were mild in comparison - and in one month hit their insurance
          cap of $250,000 and were dropped. He was still in the hospital in a
          vegetative state. His wife sold the restaurant and their house and
          subsequently filed for divorce to protect their remaining assets (her
          go-to-work car). He did snap out of it a month or so later, but they are
          flat broke and still together (he is unable to work due to severe memory
          lapses and physical problems).

          It may vary with your state law. I'd do some preliminary research it at
          your local public law library and maybe get legal counsel as well before it
          gets too messy.

          B~

          Comment


          • #6
            wife being sued - divorce option

            >She is
            incarcerated and there is a possibility of lawsuit, though none hasbeen filed as of yet.
            You need a lawyer!

            In the meantime, here is my uninformed opinion:

            Divorce might not help you here, since you were married to her when the
            accident occurred. Also, if you plan to continue living with her after
            she gets out of jail, it is advantageous to continued to be married to
            her--- especially if the other party's lawyers assert that the divorce
            was a sham undertaken to shield your assets from being liquidated to
            pay the damages. It is even possible that your divorce might not be
            granted.

            A simpler option might be for both of you to declare bankruptcy if and
            when she gets slammed with a judgment which is too high to pay out of
            your liquid assets.

            As a practical matter, the judgement is likely to fall within the
            limits of the available insurance. The other party's lawyers are
            unlikely to go after money which might disappear as soon as the
            judgment is announced, and they are even less likely to go after money
            which doesn't exist at all. Another practical consideration is that
            shielding your assets from your wife's creditors could create a
            situation down the road where she is an ex-con with many thousands of
            dollars of unpaid debt hanging over her. And that's not good,
            especially if you still care about her and/or if you have children to
            raise and/or if you are business as well as romantic partners...

            Comment


            • #7
              wife being sued - divorce option

              "Jonathan Jupp" <[email protected]> writes:
              My wife is being sued for an auto accident she caused. She is incarcerated and there is a possibility of lawsuit, though none has been filed as of yet. Her auto insurance presumeably takes care of the front line defense, but in order to protect my assets (I own my house, house is in my name alone, and I owned the house for 5 years prior to marriage). Although drastic, I am considering divorce to protect my hard earned assets.
              I don't think that would help because the "horse is already out of the
              barn" so to speak. This is why marriages suck as an asset protection
              entity. Consider stripping your equity by trading your house for
              stock in a corporation wherein your children hold significant holdings
              in convertible bonds that were bought for a huge discount (then have
              them convert the bonds after any subsequent judgment), or using it to
              buy a stock option in a company that they own (but the company better
              look like at least on paper that it is a reasonable investment). You
              might be able to trade your house for a home in a state with a high
              enough homestead exemption, or set up your own financier (a friend)
              for a deed of trust loan (note swap) to bring your equity down below
              the homestead value. If that note (your friend gets) were to have
              terrible terms it might act as some deterrent to taking it in
              execution.

              These are just some ideas I've had and that I've mined from some asset
              protection sites and books. I'd suggest you start digging deeper than
              your initial knee jerk reaction of divorce.

              --
              Pumping irony builds puns of steel.

              Comment

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