This is a very common question and the answer is absolutely not. We have filed hundreds of Bankruptcies for individuals even though the couples are married. The individual can file without it having any impact on his or her spouse.

Both parties to the marriage need not file. If only one person has gotten into financial difficulty, the other spouse does not have to join in the filing. The spouse who does not file is not responsible for the other spouse’s debts unless both names are on the debt. However, if both spouse’s names are on a debt and only one spouse files for bankruptcy protection, the other spouse will still be responsible for the debt if he or she does not join in the filing.

As an example, one person gets married with a lot of debt from before the marriage. The other spouse has no debt. Only the spouse with the debt needs to file for bankruptcy. The spouse without the debt does not need to join in the bankruptcy filing. Another example is where one spouse took out a number of credit cards and loans in his or her name only. The spouse without the debt has no need to join in the bankruptcy filing.

In addition, there are situations where one spouse is out of town or has moved away. The fact that your spouse is not available does not at all prevent you from exercising your right to file for protection under the bankruptcy laws.

There are however questions on the bankruptcy form about your spouse’s income information and if you are living together with your spouse and not separated, the answers to those questions would need to be supplied even though your spouse is not filing and his or her name and social security number will not appear in the bankruptcy.