Bankruptcy Questions # 1. Do Married People Both Have to File Bankruptcy Together?

The answer to the question is NO

But the better question: Is it WISE to file bankruptcy without your spouse? Here are some of the issues that must be consider to determine if  Both Spouses have to file bankruptcy.

  1. Do you and your spouse have joint debt?   If both parties are on the debt or are responsible for the debt, then it the best course of action is for both parties to file bankruptcy together.  This requires looking at each parties credit reports, the bills and any notes that the parties have signed.
  2.  Even if you have separate debts it may make sense for both parties to file.  People file bankruptcy to obtain a fresh start and to get out from under the burden of paying their debts.   The best way to get a fresh start for the household is to eliminate and address all of the household debt and not just part of it.
  3. What if my spouse does not owe any debt does she have to file.  The answer is a simple no.  If you spouse does not owe any money to anyone there is no reason for both parties to file.  Married people do not have to file a joint bankruptcy.

Even if both spouses don’t need to file for bankruptcy, both incomes must be considered.  Bankruptcy rules require all household income to be considered to determine eligibility to file bankruptcy.   This is complicated.  There are exceptions to this. Every bankruptcy situation is different therefore it is best to have your situation reviewed by a bankruptcy attorney.