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Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers / Blog / Bankruptcy / Can my Spouse’s Wages Be Garnished for My Debt?

Can my Spouse’s Wages Be Garnished for My Debt?


Facing wage garnishment is a scary and stressful situation — and having to worry about whether or not this will affect your spouse can only worsen your fears. Although you may be feeling like there is no hope in this dire situation, there are some ways you can protect yourself and your spouse from the perils of wage garnishment.

How Does Property Play a Role in Garnishment?

The state of California is a common law state, which means that any property acquired through your marriage is owned equally. This also means that any debts you’ve acquired while married are also held equally. If you default on a loan, your spouse’s wages could be at risk for garnishment.

What Happens to Assets Acquired Before Marriage?

Assets that a spouse had before the marriage does not count as community property and aren’t commingled. Any debts that can be traced back prior to your marriage can free your spouse from wage garnishment.

Steps to Take if Either Spouse is Being Threatened with Garnishment

By law, creditors cannot garnish your wages without taking you to court and receiving a judgment. However, filing for bankruptcy can immediately protect you from wage garnishment through an automatic stay. If you are concerned about creditors suing your spouse for wage garnishment, you can protect them by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 can offer them protection through a codebtor stay. The bankruptcy process has many rules and the process can be complicated. For example, under certain circumstances, a creditor may ask the court to have a codebtor stay removed.

If you are being threatened with wage garnishment, bankruptcy may be a viable solution. For more information contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld today at (800) 996-9932. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys are here to answer all of your questions and help construct the best bankruptcy plan that is right for you.

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