It comes all the way down to lots of components, however if you wish to boil it all the way down to a easy check, right here it’s: if it smells humorous, you then’ve acquired an issue.
If the property is clearly your partner’s, was at all times theirs, you by no means helped pay for it, they usually’ve owned it for a while, you then do NOT have an possession curiosity. Nevertheless, should you purchased it collectively, or should you’ve made all the funds on it, or should you gifted it to her, you then’ve acquired an possession drawback.
If you file chapter, your chapter property is created. This property means all your property, actual, private, and intangible. So should you personal a house, a automobile, and have a proper to obtain a $5,000 tax refund, then all of these things go into your property.
We attempt to exempt, or shield your property in order that the bk trustee can not take your property property and promote it off to pay collectors. For instance, in Utah, solely $3,000 of your automobile’s worth is protected. So should you personal a automobile value $10,000 free and clear, then solely $3,000 is protected, and the bk trustee will take it and promote it off. He’ll provide you with $3,000 and use the remaining to pay collectors (much less his very wholesome finder’s payment).
Nevertheless, he can’t contact your partner’s property. That being stated, there are numerous levels of possession. If she’s owned her residence for the previous 10 years, and also you solely not too long ago met and have been married final yr, then that house is hers, and the trustee gained’t contact it. Alternatively, should you two purchased the house 30 years in the past, and also you have been the only supplier, then your cash paid off that mortgage. You might not be on title, however you may have an “equitable curiosity,” and there will likely be issues with the trustee.
Even worse, let’s say that you’ve got a Ming vase that you simply inherited out of your Aunt Mildred. It’s value $80,000. Two weeks earlier than submitting chapter, you “give” it to your spouse. That doesn’t rely! It’s a fraudulent switch. The bk trustee will keep away from the switch, promote the vase, and pay your collectors. The shade of Aunt Mildred will likely be very displeased with you.
It’s all sophisticated and is normally discovered on a case by case foundation. That’s why you need to meet with a bk lawyer. Inform him all the things. That manner he may give you trustworthy recommendation on easy methods to shield your property (should you can).