|Does my spouse have to file bankruptcy with me?
No, it is not required that your spouse file with you. It is important to determine if it makes sense to file with your spouse or not. Often there are advantages to filing a bankruptcy with your spouse. This is called a “joint bankruptcy.” And on the other hand, sometimes it makes better financial sense to have only one spouse file. So, depending on the case, there can many factors to consider in making this determination. Sometimes this is an easy decision and sometimes the decision can be much more involved. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine what is better for your situation, filing with your spouse or not.
Keep in mind that if you are married, and you decide to file without your spouse, your spouse’s income and household expenses (not debts) still must be included in the bankruptcy as part of the total household income and expenses. The non-filing spouse’s debts and assets are not part of the bankruptcy, only his/her income and household monthly expenses are part of it.
Also, if your spouse is jointly liable with you on a debt or debts AND you decide to file WITHOUT your spouse, then the bankruptcy case may discharge (i.e., eliminate) the liability for you on those debts but not the liability on those debts for your spouse; meaning that the creditor could still pursue your spouse for those joint debts. Only your debts are discharged in bankruptcy, not your spouse’s debts if you decide to file without your spouse.
Additionally, in Oregon and Washington there are state laws which hold a spouse liable for medical bills that are incurred during the marriage. Therefore, if your debts include medical debts, your non-filing spouse may remain liable for those debts even though you may discharge those medical debts in your bankruptcy case.
Please note that the State of Washington is a community property and community debt state and in the vast majority of circumstances a married couple in Washington will want to file bankruptcy jointly (i.e. together) because of that. However, there are uncommon circumstances where a spouse in Washington State could choose to file separately if that person's specific circumstances justify it. This area can be very complex, so it is best to seek an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to advise you on how community property and community debt can affect Washington residents in bankruptcy. Oregon residents do not have to worry about community property or community debt laws as those laws are not applicable in the State of Oregon.
Click here to read additional FAQs
WHAT BANKRUPTCY CAN DO FOR YOU ?
BANKRUPTCY WILL STOP:
• MEDICAL COLLECTIONS
• CREDIT CARD COLLECTIONS
• TAX COLLECTIONS
• OTHER TYPES OF COLLECTIONS
• HARRASSING PHONE CALLS
• FINANCIAL DISTRESS
BANKRUPTCY CAN PROTECT YOUR:
• VALUABLE ASSETS
• FINANCIAL FUTURE
• CHILDREN'S FUTURE
• PEACE OF MIND
CALL US TODAY, WE CAN HELP !
CALL NOW AT - (503) 808-9032
BEAVERTON (Main Office)
12655 SW Center St., Suite 120
Beaverton, Oregon 97005
* By Appointment Only *
Located in the 6-story CASCADE PLAZA WEST building (a white building with blue roof segments) in Beaverton near Hwy. 217, SW Canyon Rd., and Cedar Hills Blvd. The building is on the corner of SW Center St. and Hall St. Only three (3) blocks from the Beaverton Central Max train stop (Blue line), near the "Beaverton Round."
Parking is free. Handicap access ramps and elevators located at the ground floor entry.
Upcoming Office this year!
* By Appointment Only *
Conveniently located in Hillsboro.
Parking is free.
We closed our downtown location and a new more convenient location to be announced this year.
* By Appointment Only *
CALL US TODAY TO START LIVING DEBT FREE!
*** WE CAN HELP ***
|Reviews, Rating and Affiliations
I must say Scott is they best to work with, he has gone way out of his way to help my wife and I with a chapter 7, he was amazing to work with, if you plan to file you must check with Scott first, he even has 2 locations, Scott would get 10 stars if it would let me rate that high.
- Rick T.
We hired Mr. Hutchinson in early 2011 to represent us in filing for bankruptcy. I had interviewed two other attorneys in Portland prior to selecting him. Mr. Hutchinson is a very professional and knowledgeable attorney. The filing process went very smoothly for and we were discharged successfully. We are very happy that we found him.- Jody H.
No one wants to be in the position to have to file for bankruptcy. It's humiliating no matter what the circumstances. My experience with Mr. Hutchinson was excellent. I was made to feel like a person and not just another case. Not only was I filing for bankruptcy, to top it off my case was extremely difficult (which I am told is highly unusual) as I was right on the border between being able to file a 7 or 13. It created a lot of additional work and hassle for Mr. Hutchinson. Regardless of how frustrating that may have been, I was consistently treated with respect, patience and professionalism throughout the entire process. He went more than the extra mile for me. If you find you are in a position to file bankruptcy I would strongly suggest Mr. Hutchinson's services.
More reviews on Avvo.com
Oregon State Bar Association
OSBar listing Scott Hutchinson