During A Divorce, Do Both Spouses Have To File Bankruptcy?

Many couples wonder whether both spouses have to file bankruptcy together, or if just one can file alone. At Nowack & Olson, we use more than 40 years of combined experience to help our married and divorcing clients understand their rights and obligations in bankruptcy proceedings.

Technically, there is no law requiring that married couples file together. However, the rules and administrative facts of bankruptcy can make it very difficult for a married person to file alone.

Don't guess at what will work best for your situation. Consult an experienced lawyer at Nowack & Olson, PLLC, by calling 888-813-4737 today.

Can I File For Bankruptcy While Still Married?

There are several things to keep in mind when considering filing for bankruptcy as a married person:

  • Your spouse's income will be attributed to you — even if you file as an individual and your spouse refuses to make that income available to you. This can make it more difficult to qualify for bankruptcy, particularly Chapter 7, which has a strict limit on income.
  • Often, filing together is less expensive. If the second spouse ends up having to file down the road, you will have basically doubled your costs.
  • Filing with your spouse can help you save property like your home or car. Having joint filers allows you to double the number of exemptions you use for property. If your equity in your home is greater than the amount of the exemption, for example, your spouse may apply an exemption as well and cover the equity so you can keep it.
  • Lastly, filing without your spouse may raise suspicion from the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee. While it is technically within the law, it is unusual for a married person to file alone. This can lead to extra hassle and scrutiny in your bankruptcy matter.

Of course, each bankruptcy case is unique. In some cases, it may be completely appropriate to file without your spouse — particularly if he or she has no debt or liability. A knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney, like the professionals of Nowack & Olson, can help you assess your situation and make the best decision for your future.

Free Consultation ~ No Obligation

Let us help you determine if you need help filing for bankruptcy in your divorce. Contact us online or call 888-813-4737 to schedule a free initial consultation with no obligation. From our office locations in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Boca Raton and Jupiter, our lawyers represent people throughout South Florida.