Married to someone self-employed? You could be liable for their debts
If you are married in communion of goods, then you could be liable for the debts run up by your self-employed partner
The responsibility incurred by a self-employed person is universal – their debts are secured by the entirety of their property and assets. There is no limitation of responsibility.
And this universal responsibility extends to the assets of their partner, when married in communion of goods.
Although most British marriages are under the separation of property regime, the default matrimonial regime for Spain and many other European nations is for assets and liabilities to be pooled upon marriage.
This means that if your partner runs up debts they are unable to service, creditors are entitled to seize your assets in lieu of your spouse’s debts.
Take action before the business venture
One way to protect essential assets for the family is to change the matrimonial regime before starting your new business venture. You can split assets between the spouses (separación de bienes) via Notarial deed, although this may incur tax liabilities. You can also apply for this matrimonial regime when marriage is contracted.
Also note that if this change is carried out shortly before debts are embargoed, your creditors may argue that the separation of goods was a wilful attempt to avoid repayment of the debt and apply for it to be overturned.