Can I still file jointly and file for bankruptcy myself or do we need to file separately? 8 Answers as of July 07, 2017

I am planning to file bankruptcy in the upcoming months for the current 2017 year. I've yet to file taxes for the 2016 tax year. I am filing bankruptcy but, my spouse isn't. Also, In January 2017 I received an auto accident payment of $10,000. Does that prevent me from filing? I do not have income now. My spouse has income under the Means test for a HH size of 2.

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Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
Filing your taxes jointly is completely independent of whether you file a joint bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/7/2017
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
There are factors you should consider before making a decision on whether to file a bankruptcy with or without your spouse. Too many factors to explain in this type of setting. Not having filed your taxes for 2016 will be a problem if you file bankruptcy. You will need to get those returns in within a very short time of filing. The award from the auto accident will not prevent you from being eligible to file bankruptcy, provided you are otherwise eligible. If you have any of this money left over, I hope you managed it in a very specific way. If all of this money was spent, I would hope you did not use it to pay family or friends money you borrowed from them, or repay one creditor in preference to all your other debt.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/7/2017
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You need to see a lawyer. The 10K in January is not a problem next month (and it is not "income" in any event). If you are living together you should file together. There is no advantage to separate filings.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/7/2017
Garner Law Office
Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
Yes, one spouse in a marriage can file bankruptcy without the other, and you can still file joint tax returns. Just keep proof of your income in the previous tax year. The auto accident payment is not an obstacle although you will have to account for the use of the proceeds.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/7/2017
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Meet with a lawyer face to face. I still have about 40 to 50 more questions before I can render an opinion.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/7/2017
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    This is a question that needs more facts behind it in order to give a proper answer. You should seek the advice of competent bankruptcy counsel and not venture into this area by yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/7/2017
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    I'm not sure you formulated your question clearly. One of two spouses is free to file separately, but in many federal districts you must still list your spouse's earnings and assets, identifying her as 'non-filing spouse.' If you are unemployed you usually cannot file under Chapter 13. If you filed jointly with your wife, then you might be able to produce a confirmable Plan based on her income. In any event it's almost always a good idea to retain an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. It's almost always worth the investment.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/7/2017
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    You may file without your spouse, but the spouse's income is included in the Means Test. As for the personal injury settlement it depends on how much is left and whether your state follows state exemptions or federal exemptions. New Jersey follows federal exemptions.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/7/2017
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