Property Rights of Unmarried Couples FAQ

Am I liable for the debts of my partner?

Not unless you have specifically undertaken responsibility to pay a particular debt -- for example, you cosigned a promissory note or the debt is charged to a joint account. By contrast, married spouses are generally liable for all debts incurred during marriage, even those incurred by the other person. The one exception for unmarried couples applies if you have registered as domestic partners or have entered into a civil union in a state where the law states that by doing so, you agree to pay for each other's basic living expenses -- that is, food, shelter, and clothing.

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