Can I file for bankruptcy without my spouse in Florida? The short answer is, yes.
Even though many things are shared by a couple, like a home, family, and car, neither party in the marriage needs to file for bankruptcy.
The other spouse does not need to file a complaint if one spouse is in financial difficulty and requires debt relief. Otherwise, it could affect his or her credit rating.
Bankruptcy Without My Spouse
Singles and married people can use bankruptcy to regain control of their finances. Many married couple’s finances are linked to their spouse’s, so they will file jointly. It is possible to declare bankruptcy without your spouse, and this can be advantageous for some couples.
What you should know about:
Filing jointly or separately depends on a variety of factors, including whether both spouses are willing to file as one and your total debt and assets for your household. Your state, whether it is common law or community property (Florida falls into this latter category) as well as the current status of marriage are also key components. It becomes even more critical if either party is seeking a divorce.
Who Owns Your Assets?
The ownership of properties is one of the main reasons people file bankruptcy separately while married. As we have already stated, Florida is a state of common law. It means that any property you acquire during your marriage belongs solely to the person who bought it unless it is a gift.
What Does It Mean to File for Bankruptcy Without My Spouse
In states where community property is the law, assets acquired during marriage are at risk of seizure if a spouse files for bankruptcy. All assets become part of the bankruptcy estate. It does not matter if the items were bought jointly or by the spouse who isn’t filing for bankruptcy.
Florida is a common-law state. The bankruptcy estate only includes the property that is owned by the spouse of the person who bought it and any joint-owned interest. The bankruptcy estate does not have the property of the spouse who did not file a bankruptcy petition.
Both spouses can file bankruptcy separately at the same time and each creates their own exemptions. This can sometimes double the number of exemptions that are available in the case.
Some instances can make filing bankruptcy individually more beneficial for both spouses. Your unique circumstances will dictate if this applies to you; to find out, consult a Florida bankruptcy attorney about it. Call Bruner Wright today for a legal consultation!
Does the Same Rule Apply to Debt as It Does for Property?
Florida law does not combine the debts of one spouse with those of their partner, meaning when couples marry they do not become legally responsible for each other’s debts. While their debt could impact your finances in Florida, neither one of you is required to cover it financially. However, keep in mind that their debt has no obligation of its own; you don’t owe anything!
Contrary to popular belief, if one person files for bankruptcy, it does affect the shared debts. Both you and your spouse will receive automatic protection from bankruptcy on these debts. Additionally, the discharge of bankruptcy may also have an impact on this debt.
To gain a better understanding of how these rules apply to your specific situation, it is advisable to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer who can provide guidance based on your unique circumstances.
Which Bankruptcy Is Best for a Single Bankruptcy Filing?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have very different characteristics. Which bankruptcy is right for you, and whether you’re eligible to file it or not, will depend on a few factors:
- The spouse filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is required to include the income of their spouse. Chapter 7 filers must meet income requirements depending on where they reside. They cannot file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 if they have exceeded the combined income limit.
- A bankruptcy trustee will dictate a monthly repayment plan if a spouse wants to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The non-filing spouse’s earnings will be taken into account when determining repayment amounts and schedules.
The rules for married couples who choose to file for bankruptcy on their own are complicated. For example, jointly owned assets or property will be examined, and possibly seized, to pay off debts. The situation is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Alternatives for Filing a Bankruptcy
Individuals often hesitate to declare bankruptcy, whether together or individually. Although alternative solutions such as taking out another loan or consolidating credit card debt may help improve financial situations, such measures often prove more expensive and counterproductive than expected.
Reach out to our bankruptcy attorneys if you are considering bankruptcy and have questions about your specific situation. Our team of bankruptcy attorneys at Bruner Wright has helped numerous individuals in Jacksonville, Florida with different situations find the debt relief that they desperately needed.
Book an Appointment Now
Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to take control of your financial future. Call us today to arrange a complimentary consultation and let our team of highly skilled Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyers guide you towards a brighter tomorrow.
To learn more about how we can assist you, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 904.432.1200. Take the first step towards a debt-free life today and contact Bruner Wright P.A. for the guidance and expertise you deserve.
Services We Offer:
- CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY
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