' Do Both Spouses Have to File Bankruptcy?

Do Both Spouses Have to File Bankruptcy?

do both spouses have to file bankruptcyFor some couples, filing for bankruptcy is the best way to get out from under crippling debt. But what if only one spouse caused the debt? Do both spouses have to file for bankruptcy?

The answer depends on a variety of factors. For example, what type of debt are you dealing with? Do you live in a community property state? Do you want to rebuild their credit scores in the future?

Here’s what you should know:

Debt Held by Both Spouses

If you and your spouse have taken out joint loans and credit cards together, then it’s likely that you will need to file for bankruptcy together. This is because when you sign a loan agreement or open up a joint credit card account, you are both legally liable for repayment of that debt. Therefore, if one spouse files for bankruptcy without the other, then the other spouse could still be held responsible for any remaining balance after the first spouse’s discharge.

The best way to avoid this situation is to only apply for joint loans or open joint accounts with your partner if and when you are certain that each of you can afford all of the payments involved—and if one of you eventually files for bankruptcy without the other, then make sure your partner doesn’t also become liable for any debts that are discharged as part of your case.

Community Property States

In certain states, all assets acquired during your marriage are considered “community property.” This means they belong equally to both spouses regardless of who earned them. If both spouses live in one of these states and have significant assets acquired during a marriage, then it may be necessary for both spouses to file jointly to protect those assets from creditors.

Additionally, even if only one spouse has significant debt issues, filing jointly can help reduce overall financial stress since it may allow more assets—especially those acquired through inheritance—to remain untouched by creditors.

Florida is not a community property state. Like the majority of states, it follows equitable distribution rules.

Rebuilding Credit Scores

Lastly, filing jointly allows both partners to rebuild their credit scores faster than if just one had filed individually. This is because joint filings tend to be reported on both parties’ credit reports. This allows them both access to more favorable loan terms in the future once their scores begin improving again.

Of course, this does not mean that couples should rush into filing joint bankruptcy just so they can rebuild their credit quicker. It means that it could potentially be beneficial financially down the road if rebuilding credit is something important to them as well as getting out from underneath overwhelming debt now.

Deciding whether or not both spouses should file bankruptcy requires careful consideration and analysis of each person’s financial circumstances.

Ultimately, it’s best for couples considering bankruptcy together to consult with an experienced attorney before taking any steps forward. This way they understand fully what options are available based on their individual needs and goals.

For more information, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.


Video Testimonials

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

How Do I Find a Bankruptcy Attorney in Clearwater?

If you're facing financial hardships and are considering bankruptcy in Clearwater, finding the right attorney can be a critical decision....
Read More

Should I Sell My Home to Get Out of Debt?

Debt is a common modern problem. Whether it's credit cards, student loans, or medical bills, debt can cripple even the...
Read More

What to Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer

What should you ask a bankruptcy lawyer? Financial problems can be incredibly stressful. One option that many people turn to...
Read More

Is It Easy to File for Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals and businesses to eliminate or reorganize their debts. It offers relief to...
Read More

How to Stay Motivated to Pay Off Debt

If you are struggling with debt, you are not alone. The average American has tens of thousands of dollars in...
Read More

Can I Fire My Bankruptcy Attorney?

Filing for bankruptcy can be overwhelming. Your bankruptcy attorney plays a crucial role in navigating you through the process. Unfortunately,...
Read More

Am I Responsible for My Parent’s Credit Card Debt?

As we grow older, our parents also age. Sometimes they become dependent on us in many ways. Even if they...
Read More

How to Hide from Debt Collectors

There are many ways to “hide” from debt collectors. You can ignore their calls, not answer your door, or ask...
Read More

Is Your Spouse Responsible for Credit Card Debt in Florida?

Debt can be overwhelming, especially when you're not sure who is responsible for it. That's why it's important to understand...
Read More

What Happens If You Ignore a Debt Collector?

Debt can be overwhelming. It’s easy to let bills pile up and miss payments, and before you know it, you...
Read More


For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More


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


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