Garnishing spouse's wage in community property state

by Lisa
(Pocatello, ID)

We live in Idaho and my spouse is being sued by a debt collector. My spouse is unemployed but I am not. Being that Idaho is a community property state, if the collector gets a judgment against my spouse, can they garnish my wages?

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May 15, 2010
Garnishing spouse's wages in a community property state
by: Mary

Thanks for getting in touch.

If your husband incurred the debt he is being sued for during your marriage, and assuming the two of you did not enter into a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement that would affect your liability for his debts, then you are liable for the debt your spouse owes. This is because in a community property state like Idaho, debt incurred during marriage by spouses is considered community debt or the debt of the marriage and a creditor or debt collector is entitled to collect the debt from the marital assets, which would include the income you are earning.

I urge you if your spouse does not already have an attorney to immediately contact a local consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

There may be some flaws in the debt collector's case against your spouse that could make it difficult for the collector to win his case or that might result in a smaller judgment against your spouse. Do not ignore the lawsuit.

Good luck resolving your legal problem and please share what happens in the comments section for this question. We are very interested in hearing how this turns out for you, and your experience can help others who are in your same situation.

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