The Effects of Bankruptcy on Your Spouse

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Will Bankruptcy Affect My Spouse?

This is a question that worries many people that are married and are facing the reality of having to file for Fort Myers personal bankruptcy. It is stressful enough knowing that you are facing bankruptcy without the thought of dragging your spouse into the situation. We often wish that these questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. However, usually this is not the case due to the fact that there are a lot of intricate details in a Fort Myers personal bankruptcy case. Using knowledgeable individuals, like Florida Bankruptcy, to assist you in the process can be necessary to understanding the details of how your spouse can be affected.

The oversimplified answer to this question is that a spouse can file as single, but there may be some shared property that can be taken. To fully understand how a spouse will be affected, you must know whether you are in a community property state or a common law property state.

Common law property occurs when the individual has title to the property. This means it is their property in a marriage. Each spouse will own one half of jointly owned property. This means that if Fort Myers personal bankruptcy is filed, then the court can obtain the titled property and half of the joint property of the spouse who has filed. Although, if this amount does not satisfy the debt, then the court can obtain the joint non-exempt property by going through certain steps. A spouse’s assets will be more protected in a common law property state than a community property state.

Other states will be classified as community property states. This occurs when both spouses are treated as equally owning all property, even if the property is owned by one individual. The community approach will have a huge impact on both parties in the marriage and it does not matter that a spouse files separately or not. Any of the property can be taken by the creditors because all property is owned jointly. There are not many states that have community property laws. The following states are the only states that have these laws:

  • Louisiana
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Wisconsin

Filing bankruptcy in one of these states will be like filing jointly with your spouse in another state due to the fact that all property is shared equally. Filing in a community state will affect both spouses jointly. This means that both spouses credit scores will be affected equally.

Understanding your state’s law and whether or not you are in a common law or a community property state can help you protect your spouse. Depending on which state you file in will determine to what degree your spouse will be affected.

Can I file for bankruptcy without my spouse?

Like many things done legally in a marriage, a spouse can file as a single person without their spouse. Whether the Fort Myers personal bankruptcy will affect the spouse will be determined by the state marriage property laws. However, it should be known that a spouse can file without the other spouse’s consent. This creates a lot peace knowing that the tough decision does not have to pull both spouses into the situation.

There is still a lot of worry as to the effect that the single Fort Myers personal bankruptcy filing will have on the other spouse. Some of these concerns can be whether there will be any effect on the non-filing spouse’s debts, credit scores, or relationships with their debtors. Most often, if one spouse files as single, then the other spouse’s credit score will not be affected. However, if joint property is involved, then the credit score for both may be affected.Fort Myers personal bankruptcy

Also, the spouse will usually not be brought into a bankruptcy proceeding. There are few situations that will bring a spouse into the case. However, there are times when debts of the filing spouse are not satisfied and the court will dip into jointly owned property.

Another effect that may follow after a spouse has filed on their own is the numerous calls from creditors. Even though one spouse files, there may be a constant nagging through phone calls and mail to both spouses concerning the debt owed. This will not legally affect the non-filing spouse, but it definitely is an annoyance that will want to be avoided. Having the filing spouse seek an automatic stay will stop collection, prevent further collection, and will stop the phone calls.

How Can Fort Myers Personal Bankruptcy Help You?

Having Fort Myers Personal Bankruptcy lawyers, such as Florida Bankruptcy, can alleviate a lot of stress felt in a bankruptcy situation. First of all, they can assist you in the difficulties of filing with the bankruptcy court in the correct jurisdiction. Allowing an experienced attorney take some of your stress can make the process smoother for you.

Knowledge and Understanding of Personal Bankruptcy in Fort Myers

The knowledge and skill that comes from an experienced bankruptcy attorney can be essential to you. They can help you with the difficulties that are often faced in a bankruptcy proceeding. A counselor is a name that attorneys are associated with. This name means that they can counsel you in making the correct decisions in your Fort Myers personal bankruptcy case. They can set you on a path that will lead you in a direction that will solidify your future. Some of the ways they can help are:

  • Advising you on your best filing options;
  • Helping you prepare the correct documents at the correct times;
  • Protecting you from future calls from collectors;
  • Arguing your case in bankruptcy court; and
  • Giving you the knowledge and wisdom that you need to help you through the process.

These are just a few ways that using attorneys in a Fort Myers personal bankruptcy proceeding can help you. Bankruptcy proceedings can be very difficult in understanding the differences between the property that can and cannot be touched. On top of this, knowing which chapter to filing under can be helpful. Having an experienced attorney will allow you to file under a bankruptcy chapter that will best help you.

Overall, bankruptcy can be filed as being single even though you are married. There are many details that are needed to know whether or not your spouse will be affected. Knowing these details will help you to protect or at least be aware of the dangers that your spouse may face. Taking the time to find an experienced attorney will alleviate some of the stress involved in this process. They will know the details that will help protect your spouse. Also, they will know the specific laws that will lead you through a successful bankruptcy proceeding.

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