Does my spouse have to file bankruptcy with me?

A spouse ordinarily does not have to file bankruptcy. One individual can file. We call the other person who doesn't file "the non-filing spouse". Sometimes clients come to us, and their spouse doesn't owe very much money, or they're on very few joint debts. It might be wise to keep them out of the bankruptcy entirely because then their credit is unimpaired, their assets are unimpaired, and you can use that credit the next couple of years, while you're rebuilding your own. The only problem is that we do have to count the spouse's income and their expenses in determining what the household unit has, to see what the debtor can afford in a bankruptcy. Normally, that spouse is left out of most of the bankruptcy, and it's not a bad idea in many cases.

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