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Posts Tagged ‘joint filing’

You can file bankruptcy without your spouse.

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

But the fact that you are married can affect your case.

If you and your spouse are married and living together, then you have one household. If that’s the case, your spouse’s earnings count and must be considered to determine if you are eligible to file a chapter 7 case – straight liquidation – or whether you must file a chapter 13 debt adjustment case – along with payments to creditors for up to 5 years.

A married person must take into account his or her spouse’s income. The spouse’s separate expenses, like personal credit card bills, are deducted from household income. Anything remaining is considered disposable income which is placed to household uses and therefor available to pay the filing spouse’s debts. If the non filing spouse makes enough money, then the filing spouse may be required to file a chapter 13 case or run the risk of having his or her chapter 7 case be subject to a motion to dismiss as abusive.

If you are married and living separate and apart, you probably won’t have to include your non-filing spouse’s income. Each of you now has your own household. If you are married but divorcing, you may be deemed to have separate households even if you live in the same dwelling.

So if you are married but are thinking of filing bankruptcy separately, ask a bankruptcy lawyer who understands marital law what this means to you and your non-filing spouse.