Will Filing For Bankruptcy Affect Your Spouse?

Bankruptcy is a legal process to have debts forgiven or reorganized to repay them in a more manageable way. While bankruptcy can be a useful option for those struggling with overwhelming debt, it can also impact a spouse’s finances and credit.

How Does Bankruptcy Affect Your Spouse?

Filing for bankruptcy on your own and for your own assets will only affect your debts and assets. However, if you and your spouse have joint debts, such as a mortgage or credit card, bankruptcy will affect both of you.

Joint Debts

Bankruptcy can affect you and your spouse if you have joint debts, but you file for bankruptcy alone. Since bankruptcy will discharge your debts, you will no longer be responsible for paying them back. Although it sounds favorable to you, it may not be so for your spouse whom you have a joint debt with.

This can actually mean that your spouse will be responsible for paying back the entire debt on their own. This could still be a massive financial burden on both of you and may affect your spouse in more ways than one.

Your Spouse’s Credit Score

If you file for bankruptcy, it will show up on both credit reports, even if the discharged debts were only in your name. This can lower your spouse’s credit score and make it more difficult for them to obtain loans or credit in the future.

It’s important to keep in mind that bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for up to 7 years if filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and 10 years if filing for a Chapter 7. In any case, the impact on your spouse’s credit may last for a significant amount of time, causing more of a strain on their finances.

Your Shared Assets

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be required to sell off some of your assets in order to pay back your creditors. If you and your spouse have joint assets, such as a home or car, these may be included in the bankruptcy proceedings. This means that your spouse could potentially lose their ownership stake in the asset if you end up selling that to pay off your debts.

Although Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not involve property of sale, it will factor in interest and possibly drive up monthly payments. Your spouse may have a difficult time paying off loans as a result.

Should You And Your Spouse File For Bankruptcy?

Keep in mind how bankruptcy will affect your spouse before making a decision to file. If you are considering bankruptcy and have joint debts or assets with your spouse, it’s a good idea to discuss the potential impact with them before moving forward. 

It is also helpful to speak with a bankruptcy attorney who can help you understand the possible consequences of bankruptcy on your spouse and provide guidance on the best course of action.

Overall, bankruptcy can have significant effects on a spouse, including the potential loss of joint assets and an impact on their credit score. While bankruptcy can be a helpful option for those struggling with debt, carefully consider the potential consequences before making a decision. 

Legal Counsel For You And Your Spouse

It is beneficial to seek guidance from a bankruptcy attorney to understand the potential impacts on your spouse and help you make an informed decision. Avoid severe consequences and seek help from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law today.


When filing for bankruptcy, there are various factors to consider to protect both you and your spouse. They may end up making more payments through your joint debts. You may also lose your shared assets in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

It is also possible that the bankruptcy will affect your spouse’s credit score negatively and will stay on their report for years. It is crucial to carefully discuss your situation with a bankruptcy attorney to avoid serious consequences for you and your spouse.

Get Help From A Bankruptcy Attorney

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