Can I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse?

File for Bankruptcy Can I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse?

Can I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse?

When you bring marriage and finances together, things are bound to get a little messy. If you are married and you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be wondering if you can file for bankruptcy without your spouse. Although it is completely legal to file bankruptcy without your spouse, doing so in secret is not recommended. It is a very serious decision that should be discussed with your partner and even if you file without your spouse, their information still needs to be present and, depending on the laws of your state, their debts and assets may have to be included.

Here are some other articles from the File For Bankruptcy product series to check out as well.

What Is Bankruptcy?

When people or companies get overwhelmed with debt and owe more than they are able to pay back, bankruptcy may offer them a second chance at managing their finances and it gives them the knowledge to manage them successfully. Bankruptcy is not a get-out-of-debt-free card, but when the process is finished, most or all of the debt they had will be discharged.

The State Law Where You Live

Community Property State Laws
  1. This refers to the state laws where you live and their views on marital property ownership.
  2. In a community property state, any asset, income, debt, or property obtained by either party during the marriage is community property.
  3. Nine states in the US observe some degree of community property regulation.
  4. States include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  5. In California, the law specifies a 50/50 divide but the other eight states allow the court to determine what is fair.
  6. Property, debt, or assets the spouse obtained before the marriage are not always included as community property.
  7. When bankruptcy is filed by an individual, all community property is listed as assets and is at risk if not exempt.
Common-Law State Laws
  1. Common law states allow individuals to maintain their own property while married.
  2. Obligations entered jointly are divided 50/50 and individual property remains individual property.
  3. This means when bankruptcy is filed individually, only the individual's property and assets are included plus 50% of any joint property or asset.
  4. Any property or assets obtained before the marriage and property or assets which are in the spouse's name only cannot be included.
  5. A total of 41 states observe common law regulations.
  6. These states generally require the spouse to declare their property, assets, and income even if it will not be included.

How Long Does The Bankruptcy Process Take?

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a four- to six-month process and stays on your credit report for ten years. Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a three- or four-year process and stays on your credit report for seven years.

Will All Debts Be Discharged As A Result?

Not all debts are able to be discharged through bankruptcy. Debts secured with collateral are not included, only unsecured debts will be discharged. Here are some examples of what can and cannot be discharged.

Dischargeable Debts

  • Credit Card Debt
  • Medical Debt
  • Utility Bills
  • Judgments
  • Some Tax Debts

Not Dischargeable Debt

  • Alimony
  • Student Loans
  • Child Support
  • Mortgage Loans

Use DoNotPay To File For Bankruptcy

How to file for bankruptcy using DoNotPay:

If you want to file for bankruptcy but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 5 easy steps:

  1. Search for File for Bankruptcy on DoNotPay.

     

  2. Put together a list of your debts, expenses, and assets. If you need help accessing information like your credit report, DoNotPay can help you get your report.

     

  3. Let DoNotPay walk you through your bankruptcy options and help you determine whether a Chapter 7, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you.

     

  4. DoNotPay will then help find the best credit counseling course near you, which you need to complete before filing your bankruptcy forms.

     

  5. Lastly, DoNotPay will gather all of the forms you need (including available fee waivers) and help you locate your nearest bankruptcy court. All you have to do is complete the required forms, prepare your filing fee, and file the application with your local court.

     

And that's it. Once done, the court will give you:

  • Your bankruptcy case number
  • The name of your bankruptcy trustee
  • The date, time, and location of your meeting with your trustee

At this point, your case has been filed. The automatic stay now protects you from all debt collectors. Your trustee will then contact you for further financial documents you will need to provide. Make sure to attend your meeting as well as complete the post-filing bankruptcy debtors course!

Why You Should Use DoNotPay To File For Bankruptcy

Your schedule is already full, but that does not mean that you do not have to do anything else. Some tasks are unavoidable, even if they are boring, difficult, or just unpleasant. If you have tasks that must get done whether you like it or not, DoNotPay probably has a product to handle those tasks on your behalf quickly, easily, and successfully. Here are some more of the articles from the File For Bankruptcy product series.

What Else DoNotPay Can Do 

The products that DoNotPay has created will save you time and money in a wide variety of ways. They work on your behalf to handle tasks that you do not understand or cannot find time to complete. The products of DoNotPay give you the peace of mind of knowing that the tasks are being handled quickly, easily, and successfully on your behalf. Here are some of the other product series offered by DoNotPay.

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