How Does Bankruptcy Work When One Spouse Files and the Other Does Not?

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy in marriages, it is often a difficult path to embark upon. Both parties typically share everything, including expenses, and it is often wondered if a bankruptcy will affect both members.

Bankruptcy & Marriage: Every Situation is Different

Even in today’s day and age, where many couples opt to keep their finances separate from one another when it comes to marriage, there are many details that need to be recognized in order to file for bankruptcy. If you are wondering if your bankruptcy will affect your spouse, the simple answer is yes, but the extent of that yes will apply differently in each situation. However, bankruptcy is far from a black-and-white issue; there are so many different variables that play a part in determining how each party will fare from a bankruptcy.

When married and filing for bankruptcy, it is important to know that both people do not have to file for bankruptcy together. It is very much possible to file as individuals, without your spouse being listed as one of the debtors. Instead, it will be noted that you are married, and your spouse isn’t filling with you. Perhaps your spouse has a well-paying job and no issues with debt, while you are facing a large amount of debt that your spouse does not want to have affect their income or assets; having the option to fine on your own makes perfect sense.

Disclosure Required

The non-filing spouse, though they will not be included in the bankruptcy, will still have to provide a full range of financial disclosures, including their income and the household debts. This will all be factored into the means test that determines one’s eligibility to file for Chapter 7. If you are aiming to file for Chapter 13, this information will be used to determine the terms of repayment.

Will my Spouse’s Credit be Affected by My Bankruptcy Filing?

No. If your spouse is not listed as one of the debtors on the bankruptcy filing, they will not face having their credit affected. In situations where you share joint accounts, however, a bankruptcy filing will be notified, and automatic payments may be halted. Though finances may be kept separate between both people in the marriage, in a bankruptcy, all expenses and income of the household will be evaluated.


If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and want to ensure the best outcome for both you and your partner, it is highly recommended that you discuss your situation with a bankruptcy attorney for the most accurate, detailed information. When one spouse decides to file for bankruptcy and the other does not, it is immensely important to ensure all aspects are worked out according to the satisfaction of all parties involved and having a bankruptcy attorney who specializes in this field can make a huge difference with regards to the final outcome. Every situation is different, and when dealing with a bankruptcy, all aspects are considered on an individual basis. It is extremely important to proceed with caution, and having the best representation can make all the difference. Contact the Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C today to schedule a consultation.

By |2018-03-12T17:48:43+00:00March 12th, 2018|Bankruptcy|0 Comments

About the Author:

I have been representing clients of all types for over 20 years, working with personal injury clients, representing people before numerous Municipal courts throughout Bergen, Essex, Morris, Union, and Passaic Counties and assisting persons in the Superior Court in complex litigation throughout the state.

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