Can you be held liable in a bankruptcy case if you and your spouse are living separately without a legal separation?

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Can you be held liable in a bankruptcy case if you and your spouse are living separately without a legal separation?

Asked on July 18, 2014 under Bankruptcy Law, Alabama

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you and your spouse have no joint accounts or joint assets, then their bankruptcy filing should not affect you. However, unless you are living apart and are legally separated, then your income and expenses (even though you are the non-filing spouse) is required so that the court, trustee and creditors can evaluate the household's income. This, however, in no way obligates you financially.

To the extent you have joint accounts or any joint assets not exempted by law, you will be affected by your spouse's filing. For example, if you file for bankruptcy in a community property state, any property owned jointly by you and your spouse may be included in the bankruptcy, regardless of whether or not you file.

At this point, you should contact a bankruptcy attorney in your area for further advise. Once you go over the specific details of the case, the can best direct you on how to proceed.


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