Do I need to get a divorce or is a legal separation okay to file bankruptcy? 22 Answers as of May 08, 2014

My husband and I have been separated for over 6 months and are living in separate households. I would like to get a legal separation then file bankruptcy but have not found any information online if I can do this. My religion frowns upon divorce so I would rather not do that. I tried to call a legal firm and ask this question but was told I would have to do the divorce then was quoted a price. I believe it was only because this company wanted to make money. Please help answer my question. I need to file bankruptcy as soon as possible due to garnishments from spouse.

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Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
You should consult a bankruptcy attorney about the best timing of your legal separation if one is needed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/8/2014
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
You may file bankruptcy without filing for divorce or filing for a legal separation. You will be the only person discharged and your husband may be responsible for debts you both owed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/2/2014
EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
You can file for bankruptcy while separated from your husband.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/29/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
If you and your husband live in separate households, that is enough. Getting a Legal Separation would by "icing on the cake".
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/28/2014
Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
You don't need to be legally separated or divorced to file for personal bankruptcy. You will need your ex to cooperate a little by signing a standard form. If you do not believe that is likely, you can file for legal separation and then file for bankruptcy without any cooperation from the ex.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/28/2014
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin
    Law Offices of Eric W. I. Anglin | Eric W. I. Anglin
    You may file for bankruptcy if you are separated but have not filed for legal separation or divorce. There are many things to consider so you really need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the numerous issues that can and do arise under these situations.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    As long as you did not separate so that his income didn't count towards your bankruptcy, you don't need to get either a divorce or Legal Separation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Marc S. Stern
    Marc S. Stern | Marc S. Stern
    There is no need to get a divorce to file an individual bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    C Page Hamrick Attorney at Law | C Page Hamrick
    FOR WEST VIRGINIA ONLY: You may file a bankruptcy whether you are married, separated, or divorced.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    You do not need your spouse's permission to file bankruptcy and you don't need to be divorced or legally separated to file bankruptcy either. There can be some complications relating to a married person filing bankruptcy without their spouse's participation but a competent bankruptcy attorney can address these issues for you.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You can file bankruptcy as a separated person. You do not have to divorce to file. Do not hire a bankruptcy lawyer who does not know this. It is rather basic.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You can file bankruptcy married, separated or divorced, as attorney we just have to adjust your income properly.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    You can get the legal separation prior to filing; it should be completed before filing. I would require that of my clients (if they are not going to get a divorce or reconcile).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Generally in Idaho, you are better off filing for joint bankruptcy as there are more exemptions and property that you can keep. However, if you want to file bankruptcy, I don't know that a legal separation will change anything. If you don't want to get divorced, then talk with a bankruptcy attorney and see what the affect of your filing bankruptcy on your own would be.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Smith Law | Sharon K Smith
    There is not recognized formal legal proceedings to file for separation in Pennsylvania. Bankruptcy can be filed at anytime however it can affect what you receive from the marital estate. Waiting until after the divorce is finalized makes the bankruptcy easier.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP
    Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP | Robert M. Gardner, Jr.
    If you and your husband are living in separate households you need only claim what income he is contributing to your household as income, and you can filed by yourself. Normally, you would include his entire income as a spouse, but would not need to do so if you are truly separated. Divorce or a legal separation is not necessary. One note, any property of his which you may have a claim against were you to ever get divorced could be considered to be your property, so an analysis of this before you file is prudent.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    You are right the divorce law firm wanted to make money. The concept of the separation is not a legal one. It is whether they maintain separate households. Does the spouse contribute to the debtor's household by paying household expenses thereby freeing up income of the debtor who would not have to pay those household expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Law Office of Linda K. Frieder
    Law Office of Linda K. Frieder | Linda K. Frieder, Esq.
    Although I am not a bankruptcy attorney, in California debts created during the marriage are community debts, meaning, they are attached to both spouses. If you don't want to file for a divorce due to your religious beliefs, there is no reason why you can't file for bankruptcy WITH your spouse. I hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida | Dennis J. Leffert, J.D.
    The problem is that even if one of you files for Bankruptcy, the other can be held responsible for ?JOINT DEBTS?. A divorce would be wise. During the divorce, you might want to consider putting into an agreement that certain debts will be yours and certain debts will be your spouses and that each of you would cooperate to remove the others name from your debts.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    You can file for bankruptcy without even filing for a legal separation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    Detroit Lawyers, PLLC
    Detroit Lawyers, PLLC | Nick Best
    You can file for bankruptcy by yourself before getting divorced. You can file individually as "married, not filing jointly, with declaration of separate households."
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/28/2014
    HARVEY S. MORRISON, ATTONEY AT LAW
    HARVEY S. MORRISON, ATTONEY AT LAW | HARVEY S. MORRISON
    You can file bankruptcy individually even though you are married. It is not necessary that you get a legal separation to do so. Divorce is really a separate issue.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/28/2014
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