Does my spouse have to file bankruptcy?

I’m married, does my spouse have to file bankruptcy?

by Jamie L. Harris

I frequently meet with individuals for consultation regarding personal bankruptcy and one of the most commonly asked questions is “does my spouse have to file bankruptcy” relief.  There is no requirement that your spouse file for bankruptcy if you elect to file.  If you are obligated on debts that your spouse is not, then there may be no need for your spouse to file if all of his or her respective debts are current.  However, if you have joint debts with your spouse that are in default, your spouse may also want to consider filing bankruptcy with you.  Your spouse could also file bankruptcy at a later date if he or she experiences future financial difficulties.

It is important to note that even if your spouse does not file for bankruptcy, you are obligated to report all household income, including your spouse’s income, on the bankruptcy schedules to assist in determining your eligibility for bankruptcy.

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