The answer to this question is simple: Yes. Although, it is important to understand that spouses are not required to file together for Chapter 7 bankruptcies. 
Therefore, the more important question would be - 

Should I File a Joint Chapter 7 Bankruptcy With My Spouse?

The true answer to this question is - It depends. If both spouses have accrued a lot of debts, and many of the debts are joint, it is a good idea to file a joint Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Each financial situation is different, so you should consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer for individualized advice. 

Can Only One Married Spouse File?

You can certainly file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without your spouse. This is called a joint bankruptcy case. However, there are laws you will need to be aware of that will affect your bankruptcy if you decide to file without your spouse.
For instance:

If any of the debts in your Chapter 7 filing are joint, the court will not discharge your spouse’s portion of the debt.

You will be required to include your spouse’s income.
Your spouse’s expenses can be deducted.

Can Married Couples Who Have Separated File Chapter 7 Together?

Simply put: Yes. However, each spouse will be required to fill out the Means Test separately. They will also be required to have separate Income and Expense Statements. 

Does it Change Anything if We Have a Pending Divorce?

No, a pending divorce does not change anything. Spouses who are awaiting their divorce to finalize can file Chapter 7 as if they were filing as a married couple. In fact, it is an excellent idea to file a joint Chapter 7 bankruptcy, especially if the couple has a number of joint debts that can be wiped out. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy could help to resolve some of the financial issues that will arise in the divorce proceeding.  

Are You Considering Filing For Bankruptcy?

If you feel bankruptcy is the best option for your financial situation you need to speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.348.2616 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.