Marriage: Should You Pay Your Spouse's Debts?  |  TF1 INFO

Marriage: Should You Pay Your Spouse’s Debts? | TF1 INFO

Getting married is not only an act of love, it is also an administrative act with different regimes.
If the spouses choose to adopt the system of universal community, they undertake to pay the other’s debts.

“I declare that you are united by the bonds of marriage.” This judgment, pronounced by the mayor or one of his representatives, is legally binding for the bridal couple. In addition to the emotional aspect, they sign a contract with each other. Purpose: to define the rules that determine the monetary relations between the spouses and the fate of their property. There are different regimes: separation of property, community of acquired property, universal community. The latter will be imposed on you if you decide not to sign a contract. Please note: if one of the spouses incurs a debt under this arrangement, the other will have to repay it, the Court of Cassation confirms.

During a divorce, the wife refuses to participate in the repayment of a loan previously taken out by her husband alone. “Each spouse can only pledge his own assets and his income, unless he has obtained the consent of the other to pledge the common assets”the woman claims, emphasizing that she did not give this permission. “The loan signed before the adoption of the universal community can therefore only bind its author”she pleads.

However, the Civil Code provides that in a universal community all present and future debts, even if personal, will be borne by the community.

Debts to repay

The Court of Cassation rejected these arguments. “The obligation to repay the credit was a ‘current debt’ when the community regime was adopted and it is therefore up to the community of which the woman belongs to repay it.”

Please note: regardless of the chosen marriage contract, the bridal couple must repay all debts incurred by either of them if they relate to obligations related to the maintenance of the household and the education of the children.


Geoffrey LOPES with AFP

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