Filing bankruptcy without spouse in Sacramento California is a bad idea. People frequently come to our law office and tell the bankruptcy attorney they’re only interested in filing bankruptcy by themselves. They do not want to include their spouse. The credit cards are only in their name and don’t include their spouse.
The State of California follows community property laws. These laws essentially indicate that property earned during the marriage is property of both spouses. This is equally true of debts that are acquired during the marriage. A debt that is incurred for the benefit of the household is community debt. Therefore, debts incurred by either spouse during marriage are generally deemed to be community debts and both spouses are considered equally liable.
Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, the community estate is liable for a debt incurred by either spouse before or during marriage, regardless of which spouse has the management and control of the property and regardless of whether one or both spouses are parties to the debt or to a judgment for the debt.
A married couple with only one spouse filing for bankruptcy may result in continued collection efforts against the other spouse. This is the worst case scenario. The non-filing spouse may then want to consider bankruptcy. In the event the non-filing spouse decides to later file bankruptcy, it will double the original cost for the household. The original filing spouse paid attorneys fees and the court filing fee. Now, the second filing spouse will also need to pay attorneys fees and court filing fees. If both spouses filed bankruptcy at the same time, there would only be a single charge for attorneys fees and court filing fees. Married couples considering bankruptcy can obtain a free estimate for the cost online.
A married couple filing for bankruptcy may also want to consider a reaffirmation agreement for any secured debt. For example, if both spouses have guaranteed the loan on a vehicle, filing bankruptcy for one spouse will remove that guarantee; however, the other non-filing spouse will remain liable.
Our attorneys provide free initial consultations to help you decide whether bankruptcy is a good idea. Typically, filing for bankruptcy without spouse is a bad idea. Contact Sacramento bankruptcy attorneys to set up a free initial meeting and our attorneys will walk you through the bankruptcy entire process.