It is a common belief that being married means that you will automatically be responsible for any debt that either of you incurs. While it may be true that the property you acquire during your marriage could be considered joint assets, the same is not always true regarding debts. In fact, in most cases, you can only held be responsible for your partner's financial obligations if both of your names are used when incurring the debt. As a result, it is not terribly unusual for just one spouse to file bankruptcy on his or her own, leaving his or her spouse's name off the filing. Many such situations occur when only one spouse is struggling with debt and in need of a fresh start. A qualified bankruptcy lawyer from The Page Law Firm can help you determine if filing without your spouse is the right choice for you.
As you determine whether to file bankruptcy with or without your spouse, you need to look at the big picture. Texas is known as a “community property” state, which means that most, if not all, of the property that you and your spouse acquire during your marriage is considered to be jointly owned by both of you as the “community.” Therefore, when you file for bankruptcy—even in your name alone—you will list all of the assets that you are your spouse own jointly.
File Jointly or Individually?
The decision to file bankruptcy individually or jointly with your spouse will depend on the specifics of your unique situation. In a community property state such as Texas, it is important to consider how the filing will affect your spouse. Filing for bankruptcy together can offer a variety of benefits, including the elimination of many of your joint debts.
You cannot, however, force your spouse to file bankruptcy with you. If your spouse is reluctant to participate in the bankruptcy process, the decision might be based on the myths surrounding bankruptcy that continue to exist. You can try to allay your spouse's concerns by discussing the situation openly and honestly with him or her, and by showing your spouse some of the ways that bankruptcy might offer you both a fresh start. If your spouse is still not willing to get on board, you may have no choice but to file yourself.
A Collin County Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help
Despite the benefits that it offers, the process of bankruptcy can be extremely confusing and overwhelming, especially if you are married and you have substantially more debt than your spouse does. For more information about filing bankruptcy without your spouse, contact a knowledgeable Frisco bankruptcy attorney at The Page Law Firm. Attorney Théda Page has more than 30 years of experience, and she is equipped to provide the guidance you need. Call 214-618-2101 for a free consultation today.