No, your spouse does not have to file bankruptcy with you.
However, it is important to understand how bankruptcy operates when only one spouse files. Also, we encourage you to explore whether you should file without your spouse or if the two of you would be better served filing a joint bankruptcy petition. What is best for you and your spouse depends on the specifics of your situation.
How Bankruptcy Operates when Only One Spouse Files
- The name and social security number of the non-filing spouse will not appear in the filing spouse’s bankruptcy petition.
- The income of the non-filing spouse must be disclosed in the filing spouse’s bankruptcy petition.
- The non-filing spouse’s income will be considered when determining Chapter 7 bankruptcy eligibility and when the Means Test in necessary, will be included in the Means Test calculation.
- The filing spouse may have to provide 6-months of the non-filing spouse’s pay stubs or other documentation of his or her income to the Bankruptcy Trustee.
Joint-Debt when Only One Spouse Files
When only one spouse files for bankruptcy, the non-filing spouse will still be liable to pay back joint-debt that the couple has together.
An example of joint-debt is when spouses apply for a credit card together and take the credit card out in both their names. Charges made to that common credit card are joint-debts. Say that on the day of filing that credit card has $5,000 of debt. After a successful bankruptcy the filing spouse will not be liable to pay back that $5,000, but the non-filing spouse will still be liable to pay back that debt. The creditor would have the legal right to take collection actions against the non-filing spouse for non-payment of that debt.
Prior to filing for bankruptcy, it is important to know which of your debts are individual debts and which are joint-debts.
When spouses successfully file a joint bankruptcy, then neither spouse will be liable to pay back joint-debt or individual debt. The Bankruptcy Discharge Order will apply to joint debts and individual debts of each spouse.
Free Bankruptcy Consultation
If you or your spouse have questions about bankruptcy in Georgia, we invite you to come meet with us for a free consultation. We proudly serve the people of Savanna, Chatham County, Effingham County, Bulloch County, Bryan County, Liberty County, and Long County.
Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (912) 351-9000 or by filling out this simple web form.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.