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Serving South Georgia since 1938. Founded by Attorney C. Custer (1938-1999).
Albany: 229-888-1105 | Columbus: 706-987-8102

Albany: 229-888-1105
Columbus: 706-987-8102
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Filing for Bankruptcy Without Your Spouse

Bankruptcy
Using bankruptcy to become debt-free is a good option for many people; however, what if you are married and want to file for bankruptcy without your spouse? If you would like to file for bankruptcy individually while married, here are several important things you should know before you file.

People Can File Individually If Married

The first thing you should know is that you can legally file for bankruptcy by yourself if you are married. The law does not require both spouses to file together; however, you should never file individually without understanding the full impact bankruptcy has on your debt and your spouse's debt.
Additionally, you are free to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 individually if you are married. The law does not state that you may only use one of these options, but you should understand which option is best for your situation before you file.

Typically, a lawyer will review a person's debts, income, and situation before recommending a particular branch. The lawyer will also run tests and calculations to determine which branch a person qualifies for.
From there, you can determine what branch you qualify for and what branch would be the best option for you. You can also talk to the lawyer about the pros and cons of filing alone versus filing jointly with your spouse.

Reasons Married People File Individually

Secondly, you should understand that there are several good reasons married people prefer filing individually for bankruptcy. The first reason is to find debt relief from bills that only one spouse owes money on. If all the debts you have in your marriage are in your name only, filing for bankruptcy might eliminate all those debts, leaving you and your spouse debt-free.

People who file individually while married also sometimes do this when their spouse wants to protect his or her credit. If you file alone and receive a discharge of your debts, your filing will not affect your spouse's credit. If your spouse's credit stays the same, he or she may still qualify for great rates on loans and credit cards.

Georgia Laws Work for You With Individually Bankruptcy 

Another good thing you should know about filing for bankruptcy in Georgia is that the laws work well for married people filing individually for bankruptcy. Georgia is not a community property state. What this means is that if you have debt in just your name, you can eliminate it through bankruptcy without affecting your spouse.

If you lived in a state with community property laws, filing for bankruptcy on your own debt could help you eliminate the debt that you owe; however, your spouse would still be responsible for the debt, simply because you are married. In these states, both spouses are equally responsible for all debts in a marriage, even if the debt is only in one spouse's name.

One last important thing you should know before pursuing individually bankruptcy is that the court will add up your income and your spouse's income when performing the means test. The means test helps determine if you qualify for Chapter 7. Even though you want to file alone, bankruptcy laws require adding in the income of both spouses, not just the spouse filing.

If you have a lot of debt that you cannot repay, you should evaluate bankruptcy to find out if it could help you regain control of your finances. To find out more about bankruptcy and your personal situation, schedule a free consultation with an attorney at Custer, Custer & Clark LLC Attorneys at Law. We look forward to serving you.

Albany, GA

Custer, Custer & Clark LLC
Attorneys at Law
417 Pine Ave.
Albany, GA 31701
Phone: 229-888-1105
Toll-Free: 800-477-1105
Fax: 229-888-1108

Columbus, GA

Custer, Custer & Clark LLC
Attorneys at Law
2815 Warm Springs Road
Columbus, GA 31904
Phone: 706-987-8102
Fax: 229-888-1108

Business Hours

Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, closed

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We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code.

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