How will my filing bankruptcy affect my wife if we are separated but not legally? 11 Answers as of April 29, 2015

My wife and I separated but not legally. We live in different states. I need to file bankruptcy. I own nothing but my house. She owns properties in the state I live in.

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The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
If you do not share credit or assets then it should not affect either but you should go over the details of your case with your attorney
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/29/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
If you're living separately then you can file a single bankruptcy which will not involve your wife.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/28/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
As long as the properties are not "community property" it should be ok. Contact local counsel to hash out the details, nacba.org.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/28/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
There is no reason why a married couple need to file jointly. You could file on your own, but you will have to disclose your wife's property.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 4/23/2015
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
I'm not sure what you mean by "legally"? If you and your wife separated, and are living apart, she will not be part of your BK filing.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/23/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    If the property your wife owns is community property, even if titled in her name alone, any equity your wife has might well be vulnerable to being taken by a bankruptcy trustee to pay a portion of your debts.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law
    Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law | Paul Stuber
    The only problems would be on joint debts and joint assets. If you have no claim to her property, it will not affect her.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    The issue is whether your wife's properties are her separate property or if you have some rights, via a community property or other interest, in them.? For example, if she owned the properties before you got married, but used community property funds to pay the mortgage during the marriage, you may have some entitlement to them, and they might be at risk depending on which bankruptcy chapter you file.? This is an extremely complex situation and not something that can be answered in a forum like this.? You will likely need to get an opinion from a Family Law attorney, and then have a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your state.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Depending on how your properties are legally held, your wife could be affected greatly. If this is something that concerns you, perhaps filing for legal separation would be the first step.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It all depends on specific facts, maybe a lot, maybe not at all.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/23/2015
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    As in most such situations, the devil is in the details, things like "how is the property titled?" and "when did the separation start?" and "did you file a petition for dissolution?" There are no simple answers in bankruptcy and that is why it is imperative that you locate and retain a competent bankruptcy lawyer before you do anything respecting a bankruptcy filing. I know there are books and websites that tell you it is possible to file your own bankruptcy and save thousands in fees, but unless yours is the absolutely simplest, least complicated and straightforward situation, you're going to run into problems and need the help of a pro. Call your local bar association and get a couple of referrals, then speak with them and find the one that's right for you. I tell my clients that going through bankruptcy is like the Tim Robbins character in Shawshank Redemption crawling through the sewer pipe to get to freedom. Its long and its hard and during the process you'll think it is the worst, but when you're finished and receive your discharge, you're free to start your financial life over.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/23/2015
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