The Bankruptcy Alphabet: “I” is for “Individual” bankruptcy filing

August 5, 2012

Sometimes a married person would like to file for bankruptcy, but the spouse chooses not to file.  It may be that the spouse has no debt, or that the spouse just hasn’t come to grips with the reality of their financial situation.  The good news is that even if someone is married, they can still file bankruptcy individually, without their spouse.  The spouse’s credit will not be impacted.

The bankruptcy court will look at the household income, including the income of the non-filing spouse. However, the separate expenses (pedicures, gym memberships, Zumba classes, etc) of the non-filing spouse can be backed out of the budget.

It is important to remember that if there is joint debt, but only one spouse files, the non-filing spouse will remain responsible for the former joint debt.