Bankruptcy: Joint or Single Filing

I am married.  Can I file without my husband?

In a community property estate like Arizona, all assets and debts incurred during the course of the marriage “partnership” are considered community property. The exceptions are property received and debts incurred before marriage or after divorce, or property received through inheritance, whether it is received before, during, or after marriage.  Therefore, when one spouse files for bankruptcy, all the property in the bankruptcy estate is protected from the collection efforts of creditors.

By the same token, all debts incurred during the course of the marriage are treated as community debts and are discharged in bankruptcy, even if only one spouse files.  Thus the non-filing spouse gets the benefit of the bankruptcy, even if only the other spouse files.  Of course, the credit rating of the non-filing spouse may be affected.

This is a general explanation of a more complicated area of the law.  If a married Debtor wants to file by him or her self, a qualified bankruptcy attorney should be consulted.  The Law Offices of Alice Vacek Aranda PLLC offers a free one half hour consultation.


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