Question: Can I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse? Will It Impact Them?
Answer: Yes, you can file without your spouse. But, it might impact your spouse even if they don’t file for bankruptcy with you.
First, if you are married, you can file for bankruptcy without your spouse. They do not have to file with you.
However, if you file for bankruptcy without your spouse, then it could impact their credit if you share joint debts. If you and your spouse share debts, then your spouse would remain legally liable for the debt. That means, if they do not want their credit impacted by virtue of you filing for bankruptcy and they share an account with you, then they will need to make arrangements to continue payment on that debt.
Second, if you are married and your spouse does not file for bankruptcy with you, their income still matters. Even though your spouse does not want to file with you, and even if it makes sense that they not file, their income matters. What this means, is household income and budget are factors in your bankruptcy case. Determining whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy or determining your payment plan in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy would require disclosure of your spouse’s income. So, while your spouse’s name would not appear in your paperwork, it would be required to report their income.
Third, while your bankruptcy filing might not impact your spouses’ credit, it still impacts the household. If you are in a Chapter 13 payment plan, then that would impact the household budget. Further, you may have to pay your tax refunds into your Chapter 13 case. For that reason, and many others not listed in this article, your bankruptcy filing could impact your spouse.
There are other factors to consider when you are making the decision to file for bankruptcy. There are additional considerations when you share debts with someone else or are married. It is a good idea to speak to a bankruptcy attorney before deciding whether to file for bankruptcy. Jessica Nomie Law offers in person and telephone meetings, as well as same-day appointments.
The information and materials provided in this article have been prepared for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm. If you believe you have a legal case or claim, you should contact an attorney promptly; strict time limitations may apply to your case or claim.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.