Does my husband or wife have to file also?

Does my wife or husband have to file if I decide to do so?

There are particular situations where a married couple may not need for both spouses to file bankruptcy. Examples are:

  1. most of the debt is only in one spouse’s name,
  2. one spouse has filed bankruptcy recently effecting his or her eligibility to file again, or
  3. one spouse owns property that is not exempt or protected, which would result in losing that property if he or she filed.

However, the income of both husband and wife is considered to determine if the filing spouse is entitled to file a chapter 7 or how long a chapter 13 plan must be and the amount of the plan payment.  But the expenses of the entire family will also be considered.

If you are separated from your spouse, you will have not have to provide income information about your spouse’s income to determine if you qualify for a chapter 7.  However, his or her income may be considered to determine the length of a chapter 13 plan.

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