Do I Need to File Bankruptcy With My Spouse?

Being Married and Filing for Bankruptcy

People who are married and are considering bankruptcy often wonder how their marital status affects their ability to file. Do I need to file jointly? Does this affect how much debt is discharged? The general answer to these questions is that you do not have to file with your spouse.

Filing for bankruptcy, even for a married person, can still be an individual action. If you are married and considering bankruptcy and other options to help relieve your debt situation, it is time to seek the help of experienced attorneys. At Prescott Pearson & Tande, PA, we have been practicing bankruptcy law for more than 40 years. Thousands of families across Minnesota have received our bankruptcy services. We believe in compassionate and thorough representation. Every bankruptcy case deserves a catered approach.

Discuss your financial future in a free initial consultation with our legal team. Our experienced lawyers are waiting to help you.

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy While Married

A frequent question we hear at Prescott Pearson & Tande, PA is, "Do I need to file bankruptcy with my spouse?"

  • No. Being married to someone does not automatically make his or her debt your debt. You need to sign something with that creditor to agree to be bound by that debt.
  • A joint holder of a credit card account is jointly liable for the debt on the account whether that person has used the account or not.
  • An authorized signor of an account is liable to the extent that he or she has actually charged on the account and signed his or her name on a charge slip.
  • If you have significant joint debt or significant debt of your own, it may make sense to file together.
  • A spouse's income is counted in the means test and the real budget to determine if the filing spouse qualifies for bankruptcy. A separated spouse's income is not counted. A nonfiling spouse's expenses or his or her own debt payment can be deducted from that person's income.

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Contact Us for a Free Initial Consultation

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Area: 651-968-8096
  • Minnesota Toll Free: 888-366-0827

Please call us at one of the numbers above or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.