Do I have to include my spouse in my bankruptcy if most of the debts are in my name? 35 Answers as of May 30, 2013

I don't want to put my spouse's name in jeopardy if I file for bankruptcy. Is there a way to file without having to include both of us?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Yes, that can be done. Make sure you can afford her debt load or you will be paying for two bankruptcies.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2012
Marc S. Stern
Marc S. Stern | Marc S. Stern
There is no reason to file a joint petition, especially where your spouse has no individual liability on the debts. The community gets a discharge in any case.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/20/2012
Ipson Law Firm, PLLC
Ipson Law Firm, PLLC | Michael Ipson
Yes, you can file individually. However, any debt that you incurred that was for the maintence of the home the creditor could try to keep it from being discharged.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 2/20/2012
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
Either spouse can file their own bankruptcy petition.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/17/2012
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law
Philip R. Boardman, Attorney at Law | Phil Boardman
No, you can file on your own.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 2/17/2012
    Yahima Suarez, A Law Firm, PL | YAHIMA SUAREZ
    Unless you are separated from your spouse and you can prove it, you must include your spouse's income in the bankruptcy. Regardless of whether together or separated, your spouse's name must be included in the bankruptcy application. However, your spouse will NOT be affected by the bankruptcy. Now, make sure that you do not have debts in common. Any debt in common with your spouse or any other person, after you complete your bankruptcy, will become the complete responsibility of the other person.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
    CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Law Office of Nancy L. Jackson, LLC | Nancy L. Jackson
    You can file individually without including debts belonging to your husband. However, if his name is on any of the debt you are attempting to discharge the creditors will look to him for payment.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    You may indeed file separately and the bankruptcy should not appear as pending litigation on her credit report. As a result, her credit score shouldn't be affected. However, her wages will be considered in determining household income for purposes of deciding whether you qualify for Chapter 7 and, if not, how much your plan payment should be in a Chapter 13.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    It is possible to file bankruptcy without your spouse joining but it is not always preferable.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You can file individually without him filing or being affected. If his name is not on any of your credit cards then it won't affect him.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    You can file a single Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, but your spouse's income must be included on your schedules.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    Yes. Your spouse does not need file with you but her income does effect your filing you should consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    CS Hansley Law Firm | Chris Hansley
    Yes, you can file bankruptcy by yourself. Your wife does not have to file with you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    Weber Law Firm, P.C.
    Weber Law Firm, P.C. | William Weber
    No. You are always entitled to file a bankruptcy case without including your spouse in the filing.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    A married person can file bankruptcy with or without his spouse. To see which option is best for you, consult a certified specialist in bankruptcy law.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/16/2012
    THOMAS G. GILL, P.A. | Thomas G Gill
    Yes, you can file yourself. You do not have to file jointly with your wife. However, your household income and expenses are considered in determing whether you are eligible for a chapter 7 or a chapter 13.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    Bereliani Law Firm | Sanaz Sarah Bereliani
    Yes you can file without your spouse but you need to list his/her income/expenses as it's a community property state and they need household income/expenses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law
    Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law | Gregory J. Wald
    You can file without your spouse. However, you will need to submit a total household budget to the court and this will include information about your spouses income. However, it should not affect your spouses credit.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    No. You can file as an individual even if you are married.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    Law Office of David P. Farrell
    Law Office of David P. Farrell | David Farrell
    One spouse can file bankruptcy without the other. However, all community assets and debts must be included in the bankruptcy petition and become part of the bankruptcy estate. The bankruptcy estate includes all of the filing spouse's separate assets and debts, and all community assets and debts. Generally, community property includes all assets and debts acquired during marriage. So, even if an asset is in the non-filing spouse's name alone, if it was acquired during marriage it is community property, is included in the bankruptcy estate, and must be included in the bankruptcy petition. The good news is that the entire community enjoys the benefit of the filing spouse's discharge...so long as the community remains in tact. Thus, even where the non-filing spouse is personally liable, as long as the non-filing spouse owns no non-exempt separate property, the creditor is essentially out of luck: the filing spouse's discharge prohibits enforcement against the community, which includes the future earnings of both spouses. Keep in mind that the non-filing spouse is only protected for so long as the community (i.e. marriage) lasts. Community property issues in bankruptcy are complex, so be sure to consult in person with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer before filing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    You may file for bankruptcy by yourself. No one can force your spouse to file. Remember that all your community property is potentially part of your bankruptcy estate and must be properly exempted. She also may have to execute a waiver of exemptions to utilize CCP 703 Exemptions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Yes. But whether you should or should not is a complex question where both of you need to see a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    You do not need to include a spouse if you don't want to, but the non-filing spouse will be responsible for any debts solely in his/her name or any joint debts.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Guardian Law Group PLLC
    Guardian Law Group PLLC | C. David Hester
    Yes, even if you are married you can file for bankruptcy on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    G. Anthony Yuthas & Assoc.
    G. Anthony Yuthas & Assoc. | Tony Yuthas
    Yes, but your spouse will remain liable for any debt remaining after you are discharged
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    James Branum Law
    James Branum Law | James Branum
    Yes, a married debtor can file only in their own name. You do not have to file a joint bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    A husband and wife can file separately. However, if she does not file with you, creditors can still pursue her for any debts she has individually or any debts for which you are both responsible. So she will have to take care of any of those if you file alone.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    Bordeaux Law, P.C.
    Bordeaux Law, P.C. | Clifford Bordeaux
    You can file without your spouse, but your spouse's income and assets will need to be disclosed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    No, you can file bankruptcy without including your spouse.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    Yes, you can file a bankruptcy without your spouse. However, if you are married and living together, your spouse's income is also taken into account in determining whether or not you qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy, or how much your payments must be if you file chapter 13 bankruptcy. Also here in Texas, the community property that you and your spouse have acquired during the marriage must be disclosed to the bankruptcy court, and could be at risk.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    Yes, you can file alone without your spouse.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You can file for bankruptcy just in your name. This would only discharge the debts in your name but it is not required for him to file.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    The Law Office of Gary Polston | Gary Polston
    Your spouse must be included in the Bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/15/2012
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A.
    Moore Taylor Law Firm, P.A. | Jane Downey
    If you don't include your spouse, he/she will have to pay his/her debts.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 2/15/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney