Posted on: 14 July 2018
When you get married, you become one in more than one way. For this reason, when one spouse is facing the possibility of bankruptcy they often wonder — does my spouse have to file too? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to the question, as there are a variety of factors that determine the decision. But here are some factors you can consider to bring you closer to an answer.
To find out if you can file for bankruptcy without your spouse, the first thing you want to do is determine why you are filing for bankruptcy in the first place. For example, is the filing to cover unmanageable credit card debt or is because you can no longer afford your home?
Given this example, if the credit card debt is yours alone, you may be able to file for bankruptcy without your partner. However, if your spouse is also a cardholder or your spouse is also financially responsible for the mortgage, if you file for bankruptcy on your own, the process may not be enough.
Credit Score Impact
Bankruptcy does offer a path out of a financially stressful situation, but to say that the process does not come without some level of consequence would be unfair. If you file for bankruptcy, you can expect some impact to your credit score and your ability to gain credit for some period.
If you are concerned about you and your spouse both having credit struggles, it may not make sense for the both of you to file. The idea is that if at least one of you has a good credit standing, you will be protected.
Depending on the bankruptcy process you follow, you may be required to divulge and give up some of your assets, including your property. For example, if you have a second home that is paid for, the court may require you to sell the house and pay the proceeds to your creditors as part of the settlement.
If your partner is also an owner on the property, you will probably run into problems during the bankruptcy process because you can't legally sell a property on your own that is also owned by someone else.
When it comes to the decision of whether or not your spouse needs to file for bankruptcy too, an attorney is going to be your best source of information. An attorney can sit down with you, and your spouse to determine what is best and help you move forward with whatever choice you make.
For more information, contact a company like O'Connor Mikita & Davidson LLC.Share