Palm City, FL asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Florida

Q: Florida: recently married. New spouse owned property prior to marriage. If I am in a car accident and it’s my fault can

The injured party sue them and their property if owned prior to marriage?

2 Lawyer Answers
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
Answered
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: If your spouse negligently entrusted you with the vehicle (if, for example there were no insurance), your spouse might be sued. If they were to recover a judgment, they could, in theory, levy upon your spouse's premarital property (as well as marital property).

Tim Akpinar and Charles M. Baron agree with this answer

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I agree with Mr. Thorgaard (in the event you are talking about you driving a car that is in your spouse's name or a car that is in your names jointly) - and owning prior to the marriage is irrelevant. The ownership that is relevant is who owns what at the time of the accident. If you are talking about you driving a car that is solely in your name, with no theory of liability on your spouse's part, assets that in your spouse's name alone (at the time of the accident) would not be at risk. That doesn't mean it's impossible to file suit against your spouse. Anyone can file anything they want, naming anyone they want as defendants. The issue is whether a suit WOULD FLY and put assets at risk (if a money judgment is not paid). Also, if you are at risk of getting hit with a money judgment because you were at fault, you cannot, as a method of asset protection, legally transfer your assets to your spouse, as that would violate the law on fraudulent transfers. Bottom line: carry liability insurance, preferably with at least $100,000 in coverage.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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