Can I file for bankruptcy separate from my spouse? 30 Answers as of January 21, 2013

I want to file for bankruptcy, but I do not want to include my spouse's information in the paperwork. Is it legal to do this? I want to be able to take care of this issue without jeapordizing my marriage or my spouse's credit.

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
You will need to include your spouse's income in your petition.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
You can file for bankruptcy separate from your spouse but you will have to include his/her income to illustrate your household's ability to handle your finanical liabilities.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 8/4/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You must list your spouses' income on the forms. This will not hurt spouse.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/1/2011
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law
Eric J. Benzer, Attorney at Law | Eric Benzer
Yes
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 7/30/2011
Colorado Legal Solutions
Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
Your spouse does not neet to file with you, but so long as you are living in the same household you will have to disclose her income in your schedules.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/29/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    You must report your spouse's income and property if you are married and living together. All of your property is most likely community property and all community property goes into the bankruptcy estate created when either spouse or both spouses file for bankruptcy. If he/she refuses to provide the information (pay advices, asset information, etc) you must do the best to estimate it based on information from your income tax return and other sources available and you must explain that you tried to obtain the information and he/she refused to give it. It should not affect your husband's credit unless there are accounts owed jointly which are not being paid. If he/she is paying everything in which his name appears as a debtor then his/her credit should not be affected. If your marriage is so fragile that filing for bankruptcy relief, assuming you need to and he/she has all the facts, would destroy the marriage then such a marriage is probably unlikely to last anyway. Filing a bankruptcy case without telling the spouse is not a good idea since all the community property goes into the estate and you must both understand what is involved and the risks, rewards and consequences of filing. You should both go see the lawyer so that both can discuss the ramifications and have all the necessary information and advice to do what is best for both of you as a married couple.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Either spouse can file a petition without the other joining. In some instances a spousal waiver is required to exempt certain property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    You may file separately, but you still have to include household income, household expenses, and all community property assets. So no, it is not legal to leave those things out.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    No. If you live together and refuse to give your spouse's information, the court cannot determine if you qualify to file. Your case will likely be dismissed as abusive and you could face other punishment. In fact, if you conceal the information, you could go to jail. The case will fail. You are required to give her information. It determines if you can file. A filing by one spouse does NOT appear on the other's credit report.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Glen A. Kurtis, P.C.
    Glen A. Kurtis, P.C. | Glen A. Kurtis
    A spouse can file the bankruptcy as a single filing. The non filing spouse's credit would not necessarily be affected, but if they file a joint tax return the non filing spouse's income would be considered in the household income.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Yes, but it won't help if your debts are joint.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Breckenridge and Walton
    Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
    You are required to provide certain information about your spouse's income. The spouse is not affected by the filing, but the income must be provided.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    It is legal to do this, but in California, when one spouse files bankruptcy all of the community property is part of the bankruptcy estate. Also, if your spouse signed on a secured debt (home, car, certain personal property where the seller retained a security interest) then the security interest is not altered by the filing of the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton | Daniel Moulton
    You can file alone.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    Yes, you can file for bankruptcy without your spouse. However, if you are married and living together, you must disclose his or her income and certain other of your spouse's information on the bankruptcy documents. If you live in a community property state like Texas, you will need to disclose all community property, and the bankruptcy Trustee will want to know if your spouse claims that there is separate property claimed by him or her. I don't know about jeopardizing your marriage, but unless you have joint credit accounts, your spouse's credit would not necessarily be affected by the bankruptcy. If you do have joint credit accounts, then after a bankruptcy, your spouse's credit report may show that the joint accounts were treated in a bankruptcy. I've come to understand that your spouse can contest that with the credit bureaus, if it occurs, if it tends to make it appear that your spouse filed bankruptcy. You should hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney to review all the details of your case and properly advise you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    A Community property state requires you list all assets of your spouse when filing bankruptcy
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    You may file separately but if you maintain a single household, you will have to include information on your spouse in your petition and supporting schedules. A filing in your name only will not appear on her credit report.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 1/21/2013
    Grasso Law Group
    Grasso Law Group | Charles Grasso, Esq.
    A spouse can file for bankruptcy separately. However, the other spouse's income and the total family expenses must be taken into account and included in your bankruptcy petition. The effect of filing this way is that the un-filing spouse will remain liable for any joint debts and their own debts, but that spouse will of course not have been considered to have filed bankruptcy and therefore will not have a bankruptcy indication on their credit report, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    You can file a bankruptcy without your spouse. However, if you are not separated, her income would be considered in determining if you qualify for a Chapter 7 and you would have to produce her pay stubs for the past two to six months.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Law Office of Bobby Yaghoubian
    Law Office of Bobby Yaghoubian | Bobby Yaghoubian
    In California, a married person may file for separately from his/her spouse. Of course, the non-filing spouse's assets and income will be taken into consideration for eligibility purposes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Kevin Bluitt, Attorney at Law
    Kevin Bluitt, Attorney at Law | Kevin Bluitt
    Yes
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Braunstein Law, PC
    Braunstein Law, PC | Jacob Braunstein
    Yes, an individual can file bankruptcy separately from his or her spouse. However, the spouse's income information is typically required to be included in the petition for purposes of determining the debtor's disposable monthly income.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Center
    Bankruptcy Law Center | Bill Zurinskas
    Applies to Bankruptcy in Colorado: Yes, you can file bankruptcy without including your spouse as a joint debtor, but you must disclose some information concerning your spouse, especially income information, in your bankruptcy documents filed with the court.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    It is possible to file bankruptcy and your spouse not to or to file later. The costs could be higher if they are done at different times.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Selleck Legal, PLLC
    Selleck Legal, PLLC | Stacey Selleck
    You may file for bankruptcy as Married but filing individually. Your wife will not be listed, nor will any of her debts. However, her income will still need to be calculated to determine your household income. Therefore an attorney will likely ask for six months of her pay stubs (along with yours) to determine the household income.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    You may file separately from your spouse. Her income information is required. Be careful of joint debts , cosigned notes and such. Do you live in a community property state? Do you own property jointly? These are considerations that will effect her privacy and credit.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    It will be difficult to file bk without informing your wife. To utilize 703 exemptions she will need to execute a waiver. Also, you will need to provide the court with 6 mos income verification. This will necessarily include your wife's income.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/29/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Yes, You may file bankruptcy separately from your spouse, however if you live in the same household her income information would be needed in order to file your case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/29/2011
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