Filing for bankruptcy is a decision that should not be taken lightly. It can affect your financial life and the way you deal with debt in the future. It’s a common option for married couples dealing with financial issues. But can you file bankruptcy without your spouse if the debt is his or her fault?
When filing for bankruptcy, it’s common for both spouses to be listed on the same petition. This helps couples manage their finances more easily, as they are both responsible for the debt incurred during the marriage.
However, this isn’t always practical or even possible depending on your circumstances. If you need to file bankruptcy alone, there are steps that you can take to make it happen while still protecting your spouse’s financial interests.
Can You File without Your Spouse?
If you and your spouse are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be wondering if it is possible to file for bankruptcy without your spouse. While this may not be possible in every situation, there are certain instances when it can be done. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of filing for bankruptcy without your spouse.
One of the main benefits of filing for bankruptcy without your spouse is that it can help protect the assets you and your spouse own. If you file jointly, both spouses’ assets will be considered when determining what property is available to repay creditors.
However, if you file as an individual, only your assets will be included in this calculation. This means that if you own any assets that could be considered exempt, you may be able to keep them after filing for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Provides Protection
Another benefit of filing for bankruptcy without your spouse is that it can help protect you from their debt. When both spouses file for bankruptcy jointly, all the debts of both spouses will be included in the papers sent to creditors. However, if you file individually, only your debts will be considered. This can help you keep your home and other assets if your spouse’s debt is much higher than yours.
One final benefit of filing for bankruptcy without your spouse is that it can give you a fresh start. When you file jointly, both spouses’ credit reports will show the bankruptcy on their credit reports for ten years.
However, if you file as an individual, your credit report will only show the bankruptcy on your credit report for seven years.
Risks of Filing Individually
While it’s possible to file individually, there are some risks to consider before going ahead with this option.
For starters, if you have joint debts, bankruptcy will only discharge your portion of the debt. This means that your spouse will still be responsible for paying their portion of the debt. Additionally, if your spouse has been listed on a credit card or loan account, they may have negative marks on their credit report as a result of your bankruptcy. This can make it harder to get approved for loans or lines of credit in the future.
If you’re facing significant debt issues and are considering bankruptcy, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney before proceeding. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of filing together or individually. An attorney also advises you on what steps make sense for your specific situation.
Ultimately, the right decision will depend on your circumstances. But by understanding all of the risks associated with filing for bankruptcy without your spouse, you can make the best decision for your financial future.
To learn more, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 to schedule a free consultation.