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Filing for bankruptcy alone when you are married

If you are going through a divorce and need to file for bankruptcy in Florida, you may be wondering if it is possible to file without your spouse. You may also be in a situation in which you are married and not getting a divorce, but you still want to file for bankruptcy alone for any number of reasons.

It is not against the law for a married person to file for bankruptcy on his or her own. You have to be careful if you choose to do so, however, because filing for bankruptcy by yourself may draw extra scrutiny from the bankruptcy trustee who will be assigned to handle your case.

You will also need to understand that even if your spouse is not filing with you, his or her income will be counted as yours in your bankruptcy case. This may make you ineligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. If your spouse later needs to file for bankruptcy, filing together will cost you less because you will only need to file one case instead of two separate ones. Jointly filing for bankruptcy protection may also help you to double your exemptions, thus saving more property from liquidation through the bankruptcy estate.

Even if you and your spouse do not qualify for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be an option for you. With Chapter 13, you may be able to extend your repayment of your debts for up to 5 years. If your home has a second mortgage but you owe so much that the second mortgage isn’t secured by the home, Chapter 13 may also be used for lien stripping of that second mortgage. At our law firm we regularly help divorcing and married couples determine the best bankruptcy options for their situations. To learn more about filing for bankruptcy while you are married or going through a divorce, you may want to review our page on the subject.

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