Bankruptcy myth: married couples have to file bankruptcy together Bankruptcy Myth: If married, both spouses must file bankruptcy.

If you are married, you have the option of filing bankruptcy singly, so this myth is simply not true. Hence, the only involvement your spouse may have in your bankruptcy will be supplying information and financial documents, like paystubs. Therefore, this may be especially true if the debt was incurred before you were married to your spouse.  Additionally, a spouse’s income will count towards your income for the purpose of income qualification for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If there is any debt accrued during the marriage and are community property, a spouse still does not need to necessarily file bankruptcy with you. Community debts will be discharged as to the name of the person filing bankruptcy.   Hence, the other spouse will be protected from the collection on the debt as long as you remain married.  Therefore, only if you get divorced may the creditor on these debts pursue your spouse for payment.

Thus, the best idea regarding bankruptcy and your spouse may be to see which is more beneficial; Filing singly or filing bankruptcy jointly.

If I File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Does my Spouse Need to File?

Much like with a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you are allowed to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy without your spouse. However, please keep in mind, if you are sharing a household with your spouse, you must factor in and include both your income in your bankruptcy even if you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy alone.  Please do not hesitate to call our Phoenix bankruptcy attorneys or Arizona Debt Relief Team with any questions regarding declaring chapter 13 bankruptcy in Arizona with your spouse.

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