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Can Only One Spouse File for Bankruptcy?

September 4, 2015

We are always getting new clients who ask a ton of questions. And we are beyond happy that you do, because that means you are actually interested and want to know more instead of just hiring someone right on the spot. We encourage you to call around and ask questions, and you should want the best information that you can get.

So can only one spouse file for bankruptcy? The answer is yes. If you and your spouse do not have any joint debt, it might make more sense to file alone. However, your spouse’s income is still included in the bankruptcy. This means when we determine if you are eligible based on household size and income, we will not only be looking at your income, but we will be determining your eligibility by both of yours put together. Then we will have to eat up your income with necessary living expenses, and see whether or not you have any disposable monthly income left over. Sounds complicated, but we have it down to a science.

Well, what if you and your spouse have joint debt under both of your names? In that case, it might make more sense to file a joint bankruptcy. Here at your local Macomb County bankruptcy law office, we charge no extra for a joint bankruptcy than we do for a single one. It is one flat fee for you, or you and your spouse together. We understand that your spouse may not want to have a bankruptcy on file under their name, but sometimes filing jointly might be the better option for your situation.

Whether you want to file with or without your spouse, there are a few things that you should keep in mind:

  • If you do have joint debt, and you file without your spouse, then they are now responsible for that debt. It would no longer be under your name, it would only be under your spouses.
  • Although a spouse’s income is part of whether or not someone is qualified to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the non-filing spouse’s credit is not affected and nothing from the filing of the bankruptcy changes anything for the non-filing spouse.
  • If the non-filing spouse has a job and has no debt, or very little debt, then maybe the best option would be for them not to file bankruptcy and keep their credit clean for future financing.
  • Every household has a different set of circumstances, different plans, different obligations, so it is wise to get all of your questions answered before deciding to file with or without your spouse.

The more important question would be, “Should my spouse file with or without me?” Which option is the better choice?

Call the law office of Jeffrey Randa today, and we will guide you on whether or not you should file Chapter 7 bankruptcy without your spouse, or file jointly. We are located in downtown Mt. Clemens, across from the Macomb County Circuit Court building, and we are always here to help, no matter what kind of financial situation you are in.

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