No one makes the decision to declare bankruptcy lightly. When you’re married and one spouse has incurred significant debts that continue piling up, bankruptcy can be a good option to clear your financial slate.
However, the other spouse might wonder how filing for bankruptcy will impact their credit and finances—even if the married couple shared household expenses. Continue reading to learn more about what happens when an individual files for bankruptcy without their spouse.
Indiana Is a Non-Community Property State
Community property laws make a difference when you’re considering filing for bankruptcy. In a state that practices community property, any money that is brought in—and the assets purchased with that money—is considered to be owned equally by both partners in the marriage, no matter who earns more or less.
This, of course, would include any debts that the married couple incurred throughout their marriage. Now, this would be detrimental to a married couple who was interested in having only one spouse file for bankruptcy, but Indiana is not a community property state.
In a non-community property state, each spouse only becomes responsible for their partner’s debts if they voluntarily do so, such as by co-signing on a loan for their spouse. This means that, in Indiana, one spouse does have the option of filing for bankruptcy and eliminating their debts without having to involve their spouse.
What That Means for Your Case
The good news is that you can declare bankruptcy without needing to include your spouse. It’s important to note, though, that your spouse will still be responsible for repaying any of the debts you incurred together. In some cases, it might be in your best interest to file for bankruptcy together so you can double your exemptions.
In others, particularly in cases where one spouse has a number of non-dischargeable debts, such as tax debts, child support, or alimony, it would be well-advised to have only one spouse declare bankruptcy.
You’ll also still need to provide your spouse’s information on your bankruptcy petition, even if they aren’t going to be filing with you. This information will be included in your disclosure statement and will include your spouse’s income, debts, assets, and expenses so the courts have a complete picture of the financial situation in your home.
Your spouse’s information will be used to determine your eligibility, which is why you’ll need to speak with your attorney to determine whether your spouses assets, debts, and income will impede the likelihood of your bankruptcy petition being granted.
Reach out to an Indiana Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you have further questions about how to move forward with your bankruptcy without your spouse, or if you need legal representation throughout the bankruptcy process, get in touch with an experienced Indiana bankruptcy lawyer at Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm.
You can schedule your initial consultation today by giving our office a call at 1-812-232-7400 or by filling out the brief contact form at the bottom of this page.