CALL FOR A FREE
INITIAL CONSULTATION
813.254.5696

What is the Marital Adjustment Deduction in Bankruptcy?

Marriage joins two people together emotionally, legally, and in many cases, financially. Unfortunately, if you are married to someone struggling financially or you are the one facing financial problems, it might be better to keep some aspects of your finances separate. This can be especially beneficial during bankruptcy.

If you do choose to file for bankruptcy independent of your spouse, it might be a good idea to use the marital adjustment deduction in bankruptcy. The marital adjustment deduction allows you to separate some of your expenses. The benefit is the deduction reduces your spouse’s adjusted gross income, which can make it easier for you to quality for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

How does this work?

First, it’s important to understand what the marital adjustment deduction means and how it works. When you file for bankruptcy, you’ll be subject to a Means Test which is used to determine whether or not you qualify for Chapter 7, and therefore discharge of your debts. The Means Test evaluates your adjusted income and deductions. As a married person, you and your spouse combine incomes and if that total is higher than the means test allows, it means you won’t qualify for Chapter 7.

Click here for more information about the bankruptcy Means Test.

The marital adjustment deduction allows your non-filing spouse to use deductions as part of the Means Test, reducing his or her adjusted income. For instance, say your non-filing spouse pays monthly child support and a student loan payment, neither of which are household expenses.

Other personal expenses that might qualify for the marital adjustment deduction include:

• Credit card payments for cards, only in your spouse’s name
• Gym memberships, as long as you don’t use it
• Cell phone bills, internet charges, or subscription charges such as Netflix that are only used by your spouse
• Attorney’s fees
• Medical expenses incurred by your spouse
• Vacations you did not attend
• Mortgage payments for homes solely owned by your spouse
• Travel expenses for business purposes
• Child support and alimony payments
• Investment accounts
• Business related expenses

Using the marital adjustment deduction can be complicated and your bankruptcy trustee will want to see proof that expenses are legitimate and organized correctly. You’ll want to review with your bankruptcy attorney all of the paperwork associated with your expenses and carefully review the best way to report your income and expenses.

Mistakes Can Result in Bankruptcy Denial

Misreporting your income and expenses on the Means Test can result in your bankruptcy claim being denied, so it’s very important you work with an attorney who understands how to handle marital adjustment deductions.

For more information or to schedule a time to speak to someone about your situation, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to schedule a consultation.

 

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

3 Reasons Why Bankruptcy Cases Get Dismissed and What This Means for You

Bankruptcy Case Dismissed There are two possible outcomes for those filing for bankruptcy. It doesn’t matter if you qualify for...
Read More

Who Files for Bankruptcy?

Should I File for Bankruptcy? If you’re considering bankruptcy and you feel as if you’re the only person in the...
Read More

3 Reasons Your Student Loan Debt is Ruining Your Financial Future and How Bankruptcy Might Help

Student Loan Debt Taking out a loan or multiple loans to attend college is nothing new. Students have been using...
Read More

What Happens If You Miss Your 341 Meeting?

341 Meetings are One of the Most Important Obligations in Bankruptcy There are several requirements you must meet when you...
Read More

3 Things to Help You with Post Bankruptcy Credit Repair

Bankruptcy Credit Repair One of the biggest challenges you’ll have post-bankruptcy is getting credit extended to you. But for most...
Read More

What is the Real Reason People are Filing for Bankruptcy?

Can filing for bankruptcy help you with unpaid medical bills? One of the most common misconceptions about bankruptcy is that...
Read More

What You Need to Know about Bankruptcy Court

Bankruptcy Court Bankruptcy is a process that many people find intimidating. In part, this is because they must turn their...
Read More

What to Expect from Bankruptcy Counseling

Bankruptcy Counseling Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision. For many, it’s their only option for getting the debt...
Read More

Why Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney is Worth the $ [Infographic]

Everyone who files for bankruptcy must complete a bankruptcy petition. It can be up to 40 pages and filled with...
Read More

What Really Happens When You Declare Bankruptcy?

How to Declare Bankruptcy Bankruptcy is a last resort for many who file. After attempting to clean up a messy...
Read More

Contact Us

Search Website

Archive

Request a FREE Consultation

For The Next 5 Days Get A Free Book About Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Book

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

Pay OnlineBankruptcy Courses

National Association Of Consumer Advocates Logocomodoavvo1avvo2avvo3LEA
BBB LogoRG Seal

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


Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyers Map

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





Maps & Directions

At the Tampa Bay law firm, the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we help people with consumer bankruptcy matters in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg,  Florida communities such as Clearwater,     St. Petersburg, Tampa, Thonotosassa, Riverview, Lutz, Plant City, Brandon, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg Beach, Lakeland, Mulberry, Dade City, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Odessa, Oldsmar and Lithia, and counties such as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County and Manatee County.