Can a spouse file bankruptcy without the other spouse's permission? 25 Answers as of June 12, 2013

Can a spouse file bankruptcy while going through a divorce without the approval of the other spouse?

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The Law Office of Marvin Wolf
The Law Office of Marvin Wolf | Marvin Wolf
Generally, one spouse does not need the permission of the other spouse in order to file a bankruptcy. Although the income of both spouses may be taken into consideration, if there are two separate households, as happens in a divorce, then the other spouse's income will not be counted from the time they left for purposes of the means test.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/12/2013
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Yes, you do not need to get permission to file.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/12/2013
Marc S. Stern
Marc S. Stern | Marc S. Stern
Yes, either spouse may file.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/11/2013
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 6/11/2013
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Yes, happens all the time.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/11/2013
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law | Gregory J. Wald
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Sure, but it may not be the smartest thing to do. Spouses don't need each others permission to file bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    The Law Offices of Deborah Ann Stencel | Deborah A. Stencel
    There is no requirement that a spouse approve, condone, or join a bankruptcy being filed.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Jeffrey A. Cogan, Esq., Ltd.
    Jeffrey A. Cogan, Esq., Ltd. | Jeffrey A. Cogan
    Absolutely, technically, when a married couple files for divorce, it is actually two cases that are administered together. Thus, you can file an individual petition without your spouse or without the spouse's approval.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Law Office of Barry R. Levine | Barry R. Levine, Esq.
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Sanford M. Martin, P.A. | Sanford M. Martin
    Of course, a spouse, whether in the process of divorce or separation, can file for bankruptcy relief. Different exemptions apply to a single and a joint filed case, but each person has the right to file for bankruptcy relief.? The petition for a single filer should include only the debts, property, and income of the person filing rather than for the joint household.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes, either spouse can file an individual bankruptcy and the fact that there is a divorce pending does not change that fact. On the other hand, your counsel in the divorce proceedings should be made immediately aware so that the divorce settlement or judgment adequately reflects the realities of the future. You do not have a divorce attorney, you should get one immediately. You're welcome to call my office with the details and for an appointment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    It is not necessary for spouses to file bankruptcy together.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    Yes. You do not need your spouse's permission to file bankruptcy. It is a good idea to consider the effect that filing bankruptcy will have on a spouse.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    Yes, spouses may file for bankruptcy relief by themselves without the other spouse's "permission". It is each person's privilege to file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. With that said, the petition for a married person, whether or not filing jointly with his or her spouse, usually looks the same in community property states, such as California, because people qualify as a family and the petition has to have information regarding the income of both spouses and the expenses of both spouses and their family. In other words, you will still ultimately need to get some paystubs from your spouse, but your spouse's name will no be listed as a debtor. Your spouse can file his or her own petition at the same time or later, if needed. Do not let any concern over "permission" stop you from learning about your options. It usually turns out to be less difficult to complete the petition than a lot of our clients believed at first. You simply need to take the first step and the process tends to sort itself out. Oftentimes, we give the other spouse a separate consultation if they want to know the pros and cons of their spouse's filing for relief.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
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