Does My Spouse Have To file For Bankruptcy If I File?

If all your debts are owed by you alone and not by your spouse, and your spouse does not have their own problems with out of control debt, there is no reason that both must file. If you are both obligated on a secured debt such as a house, vehicle or furniture payment, it won’t present a problem as long as you intend to keep those things and stay current on the payments. However, if you plan to surrender an item and that thing is worth less than the amount you owe, the non-filing spouse would remain obligated on the deficiency – the amount remaining due after the collateral is sold off.

Some clients tell me they want to file without their spouse and are adamant that their spouse wants nothing to do with the bankruptcy. Although we are not required to list the spouse’s assets or debts, we are required to show their income and certain expenses. Income earned by both husband and wife must be disclosed to determine one’s eligibility to file and sometimes determines whether the case qualifies for a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13. An exception applies where the parties are separated and not intending to reconcile. In that instance the spouse’s income is not considered. Listing the spouse’s income does not make the spouse “included” in your bankruptcy.


We are here to help you with all your Bankruptcy Attorney needs, whether that solution lies in a straight forward Chapter 7 or in a Chapter 13, should the issues in your case be more complex. We offer a Free Consultation.

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