' Can I File Bankruptcy without My Spouse - Law Offices of Robert M. Geller
CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

Can I File for Bankruptcy without My Spouse?

Bankruptcy Without Spouse Tampa And St Petersburg, Florida.Bankruptcy without My Spouse

Bankruptcy is an option for single people or married people to get their finances back on track. In many cases, a married person’s finances are tied to his or her spouse, so they’ll file together. But it’s possible to file for bankruptcy without your spouse and for some couples, doing so is advantageous.

Here’s what you need to know:

Determining whether or not to file as a couple is based on a few things, including whether or not both spouses want to file and the overall debt and assets of the entire household. Where you live and whether or not it’s a community property or common law or equitable distribution state is also important (Florida is the latter), as is the status of your relationship. This is especially true if you are in the process of or considering divorce.

Who Owns Your Assets?

One of the reasons why people choose to file for bankruptcy separately when they are married is based on the ownership of their property. As we already mentioned, Florida is a common law state. This means any property acquired during your marriage solely belongs to the person who paid for it unless it was a gift.

What Does This Mean When It Comes to Filing for Bankruptcy without My Spouse?

In states that are community property states, a spouse filing for bankruptcy puts assets that were acquired during the marriage regardless of who paid for them at risk for seizure. Everything becomes part of the bankruptcy estate. This is true even if they were purchased jointly or purchased by the spouse not filing for bankruptcy.

But as a common law state, this isn’t the case in Florida. Only the property owned by the spouse who purchased it and any interest in the jointly-owned property is part of the bankruptcy estate. If only one spouse files, the bankruptcy estate doesn’t include the non-filing spouse’s property and therefore is not at risk for seizure.

It’s also possible for both spouses to file for bankruptcy at the same time separately and create their own set of exemptions. In some cases, this doubles the number of exemptions available to the case.

It should be clear that there are certain situations in which it would be very advantageous for both spouses to file for bankruptcy separately. Whether or not this is the case for you is based on your specific circumstances. You should review the situation with an attorney.

To learn more about common law and other bankruptcy laws in Florida, check out this information from NOLO.com.

Do the Rules about Property Also Apply to Debt?

In Florida, one spouse’s debts are separate from the others. You do not absorb responsibility for your spouse’s existing debt when you marry. It never becomes your responsibility even when you marry. Keep in mind, this applies only to the legal ramifications of the situation. Your spouse’s debt could affect your overall financial situation. You just won’t need to pay your spouse’s debt on his or her behalf.

This is also not to say that one person filing for bankruptcy doesn’t affect shared debts. If you and your spouse are co-debtors on a given loan, you will receive automatic stay protection on that debt and the bankruptcy discharge could affect that debt.

Again, you’ll need to discuss your specific circumstances with your attorney.

If you’d like to know more about filing for bankruptcy with or without your spouse or you have questions about bankruptcy in general, we can help. Contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 for more information.

Archive

Video Testimonials

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

Will Filing Bankruptcy Stop Eviction?

Are you struggling with an eviction notice and don’t know where to turn? You may be wondering if filing for...
Read More

Will Filing Bankruptcy Affect My Social Security Disability?

For those who receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, filing for bankruptcy can be a tricky situation. The goal of...
Read More

Will Bankruptcy Affect My Citizenship Application?

Applying for US citizenship can be a long and complex process. One of the factors that the United States Citizenship...
Read More

What Does It Cost to File Bankruptcy in Florida?

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Florida, there is a lot to consider. From understanding what type of...
Read More

Why Should You Consider Bankruptcy in 2023?

With the New Year upon us, it’s important to consider all of your options for getting out of debt. Bankruptcy...
Read More

Can You Keep Bankruptcy a Secret?

Considering bankruptcy is a difficult decision, and it can be a lonely one. You may feel like you’re the only...
Read More

How Will Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Loved Ones?

Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision and not one that should be taken lightly. You'll likely wonder will bankruptcy...
Read More

Can I Spend Money If I’m Planning to File for Bankruptcy?

When you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, it can be hard to know the right course of action. One of the...
Read More

What to Do Now If You Intend to File for Bankruptcy Next Year

If you intend to file for bankruptcy in the New Year, there are certain steps you must take to ensure...
Read More

5 Lessons You’ll Learn from Filing for Bankruptcy

Looking for a bankruptcy lesson plan? Here are five things you can learn from filing for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy...
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions