Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Now.
Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification.
In California since it is a State where the Spouse could be liable for the others debts, it may be better to file together, if possible.
What if the debt is consolidated? Is that a better option?
In community property states, spouses equally own all property earned or received during the marriage, splitting 50-50. In bankruptcy, then, all the community property you and your spouse own jointly is part of the bankruptcy estate, regardless whether you join in the filing. Your separate property -- property you owned before the marriage -- is not effected by your spouse's bankruptcy. Property held by your spouse will be used to settle debt first, and then non-exempt community property will be used.
A debt consolidation is not better than a bankruptcy as it would hurt your credit more, and you would be stuck with a long term payment.
If you do file a bankruptcy without your spouse, that is best as it discharges all of your debt.
Since all of the community property became part of the bankruptcy estate, upon the discharge of the filing spouse, all of the community property later acquired by the couple is free from the claims of the community creditors included in the bankruptcy. This is laid out in Section 524(a)(1)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code.
If you file by yourself, she would not be liable for any of your debts, but be aware all her property has to be included.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask
If satisfied please press the accept button so we can receive credit.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).