Is a Husband liable to pay for a Judgment Against a Spouse?
Generally, a spouse is not liable for the debts of the other as long as it is an individual account, the spouse running up the debt is not an authorized user, surety, guarantor, or cosignor, and the couple does not live in a community property state. However, even in a community property state the assets of the spouse not running up the debt could be at risk. For example, in cases involving, among others, bankruptcy, divorce, or other litigation, creditors may go after assets held jointly by the debtor and non-debtor spouse such as a bank account in both their names.
A judgment lien is created when a court grants a creditor an interest in the debtor's property, based upon a court judgment. A judgment lien can be filed if an actual judgment in a lawsuit is obtained from a court. In some circumstances, judgments can be enforced by sale of property until the amount due is satisfied. A plaintiff who obtains a monetary judgment is termed a "judgment creditor." The defendant becomes a "judgment debtor." If the judgment remains unpaid, the judgment debtor may request that the court place a lien on the judgment debtor's property, such as bank accounts or real property owned, to secure payment of the claim to the injured party. After the judgment creditor places a lien upon the attached property, the next step in the collection process is to conduct a sale of the attached property to satisfy the judgment debt.
If the judgment isn't paid, the winning party, called the judgment creditor, may get an "Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor." This is a procedure used to find out where the judgment debtor works, keeps money, and what assets he or she possesses.