Will it Hurt My Spouse if I File for Bankruptcy?

holding wedding ring

You may find yourself in a great deal of debt that is affecting your spouse and children. But with this, you may be unsure as to whether a bankruptcy filing will make matters better or worse for your family. Read on to discover if you may hurt your spouse during bankruptcy and how a seasoned Rockland County bankruptcy attorney at The Law Offices of Allen A. Kolber, Esq. can help you navigate this fragile situation.

Will it affect my spouse if I file for bankruptcy?

First of all, you must understand the difference between separate debt and joint debt. For one, separate debt is considered the debt you incurred prior to your marriage and/or outside of your marriage. An example of this is your credit card debt from an account that you opened before you even met your spouse. On the other hand, joint debt may apply if you and your spouse are jointly responsible for paying it off in the eyes of the law. An example of this may a mortgage that both you and your spouse signed off on.

With that being said, your spouse is not automatically responsible for your debts because they are married to you. So, if you file for bankruptcy because you are struggling with your separate debt, your spouse may be left unaffected. This means that your bankruptcy filing will appear on your credit report but not on that of your spouse.

However, if you are looking to discharge your joint debt in a bankruptcy filing, then your spouse may become involved. This is because your non-filing spouse may not be granted a discharge for your joint debt. This will make your joint debt their full responsibility.

Will we have to file for bankruptcy jointly?

Before all else, you must review what debts are truly burdening you. And if you come to realize that you and your spouse have incurred a significant amount of joint debt, then it may be in your best interest to file a joint petition for bankruptcy. Filing a single case with a single fee may inevitably keep the cost of bankruptcy down.

Regardless of whether you file separately or jointly, bankruptcy may be able to reduce the financial stress that your spouse is experiencing. This is because an automatic stay may be placed on your home, foreclosure may no longer be looming, creditors may no longer be harassing you, and much more.

You must remember that there is a support system readily at your disposal in a situation like this. That said, please do yourself a favor and retain the services of a competent Rockland County bankruptcy attorney from The Law Offices of Allen A. Kolber, Esq. today.