Should I File Bankruptcy With or Without My Spouse?

Couple sitting down with an attorney discussing finances

The decision to file for bankruptcy with or without your spouse can be a confusing and difficult one to make. While it is typically recommended to file with your spouse, it is not required, and may even be the wiser choice under certain circumstances. Below, our Tennessee debt relief team tells you everything you need to know.

Factors to Consider

There are a number of factors you should consider when making the decision to file bankruptcy with or without your spouse.

The Debts You Wish to Eliminate

If you were to file jointly with your spouse, you would have the opportunity to eliminate the debts you both owe. To file separately would mean that only your debts would be eliminated, and your spouse would still be responsible for repaying any personal debts they incurred before you were married.

However, if you have a substantial amount of personal debt that you gained before you married, and your spouse does not, it may be wise to file separately.

Personal vs. Shared Property

When you file jointly for bankruptcy, any piece of property that you and your spouse own needs to be included in the bankruptcy papers. You should make your decision based on the type of property you have, either shared or personal. If you were to file jointly, all of the property you both have could be put at risk, while filing separately keeps your spouse’s belongings out of the equation.

Simple Convenience

Part of the bankruptcy process is providing large amounts of financial information to the court and bankruptcy trustee. This includes your average income and expenses, as well as your income over the last few years. Attending the 341 Meeting of Creditors is also required, recently conducted either by phone or Zoom, and filing jointly would mean only having to provide one set of bankruptcy papers. This can simplify the process and prove to be far more convenient and less expensive than separate filings.

You Have Differing Credit Scores

It is true that your credit score will see a slight dip after filing for bankruptcy, however, most people do experience an increase shortly after. This being said, if you file with your spouse, both of your credit scores will decrease. Adversely, if you file alone, only your score will decrease. This can be helpful if your spouse has an average or above-average credit score that wouldn’t be affected if you file.

Get in Touch With Our Team Today

Bankruptcy can be a confusing process to navigate on your own. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, the team at The Law Offices Of Mayer & Newton will advocate for your best interests and help you find a path to financial freedom.

To get in touch with our qualified team today, use our online contact form or give a call at to schedule your free consultation.