Often we see situations where someone who is married needs to file for bankruptcy, but they want to file individually without involving their spouse. While this is entirely possible, you’ll want to keep a few stipulations in mind. Depending on your situation, there are certain factors that could end up affecting your spouse. We’ll discuss these factors further today, but remember to always consult with your bankruptcy attorney to figure out the best approach for your case.
How Their Property is Affected
If you live in a common-law property state, such as Missouri, assets that you own jointly with your spouse are considered to be both of yours equally. This means your jointly owned property is subject to the bankruptcy filing. If a jointly sold asset is seized by a creditor, they will pay your spouse equal to their holding in the joint asset. Your portion of the sold asset will go toward your debts. This happens during Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your spouse owns property that is solely theirs, then it is most likely safe. Your bankruptcy attorney will be able to further examine your assets and tell you what is subject to seizure.
How Their Credit is Affected
Generally, your spouse’s credit will be unaffected by your bankruptcy filing. However, the issue of the joint property also applies here. If you file and a joint debt is on their credit report, the fact that the debt was discharged will most likely show up. It’s also important to keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean your spouse is absolved of their portion of the joint debt. Since they aren’t filing, they still have the obligation to pay off their portion. If you’re looking to remove your spouse’s liability for those debts, you may look into filing bankruptcy jointly. It might be the best course of action for you. Again, it’s best to confer with your bankruptcy attorney to find out exactly what will and won’t be affected.
Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney Today
No matter your situation, a bankruptcy attorney at Groce & DeArmon, P.C. can help. We can guide you through every aspect of the bankruptcy process and make sure it goes as smooth as possible. Don’t let the burden and stress of debt control your life any longer. For more information, contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. We’re happy to help you get a fresh financial start.