Should You File for Bankruptcy without Your Spouse?

can I file bankruptcy without my spouseCan you file bankruptcy without your spouse?

The short answer is no, most people should not file for bankruptcy without their spouse. Bankruptcy is a legal process that can have serious financial implications for both parties involved, so it’s best to go through the process together.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, however.

For example, if you and your spouse have separate debts (e.g. you have a student loan in your name only), then you may be able to file for bankruptcy on your own. Additionally, if you are facing foreclosure or other imminent financial hardship, you may need to file for bankruptcy without your spouse to protect your assets.

What are the Potential Benefits of Filing Alone?


When you file for bankruptcy without your spouse, you may be able to keep certain assets that would otherwise be liquidated. This can be beneficial if you have significant equity in your home or other valuable property.

Keep in mind that even if you file together, you’ll receive some protection for certain assets. For example, don’t choose to file separately just to protect the family home. It might be possible to do so and still enjoy the vast array of bankruptcy benefits.


Bankruptcy damages your credit score. If you file alone, your score still takes a hit. However, filing without your spouse could protect his or her rating. This means in the future, as a couple, you might have some borrowing power. Lenders will review both of your scores and might choose to approve you based on your spouse’s score. Additionally, your spouse might receive approval without including you on a credit application.


If you file for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse, all of your joint income will be used to repay creditors. This can put a strain on your household finances. By filing alone, your spouse’s income bankruptcy is less likely to affect your financial situation as a family.

Control Debts Included in Bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse, all of your joint debts are included in the bankruptcy. This can include debts that you may not want to have discharged. By filing alone, you can choose which debts to include in the bankruptcy and which ones to keep out.

Multiple Filings

If you file for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse, you will both be barred from filing for bankruptcy again for a certain time based on what chapter you choose.

If you file alone, this restriction won’t apply to your spouse. Should more financial stress arise in the future, your spouse might have the option of filing without you.

How to Know Whether to File for Bankruptcy Jointly

The only way to know for sure if filing jointly or alone is the best option for you is to speak to a bankruptcy attorney. They can review your case and give you advice based on your specific circumstances. No two financial situations are the same. The best way to ensure bankruptcy helps you as much as possible is to work with an experienced attorney.

To learn more about bankruptcy, contact R. Flay Cabiness, II, P.C. at (912) 417-5041 (Brunswick, GA); (912) 809-2141 (Hazlehurst, GA) or; (912) 324-3176 (Jesup, GA) to schedule a consultation.

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