Protecting Against a Free Wheeling Spouse

In a number of my divorce cases, a client will complain that the other spouse is a spendthrift or is reckless with finances. They may recount that the other spouse has a gambling problem, has an addiction, or has made poor business decisions. They may express concerns that the spouse may have incurred debts and liabilities as a result of these actions. They question the extent they may also be liable for same in the disposition of the divorce matter. They wonder whether their marital assets, and most notably the marital home they own together, is at risk as a result. To the extent the marital home or other assets were owned as “tenancy by the entirety”, the recent case of Jimenez v. Jimenez, 454 NJ Super 432 (App. Div. 2018), appears to protect same, at least from the reach of third-party creditors themselves due to the actions of a “free-wheeling spouse”. Before discussing this case, what exactly is meant by a tenancy by the entirety. A tenancy by the…

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