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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 38244
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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I'm in a chapter 13 solely without my husband. Can I file

Customer Question

I'm in a chapter 13 solely without my husband. Can I file for a legal separation since a divorce will make it more complicated. I do not want to be responsible for any future debts my husband may accrue while we are living separately
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Hello: This is Attorney Phillips. Welcome to Justanswer! ! I will be assisting you today with your post.

I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Yes, you can file for legal separation. However, since you have already filed your Chapter 13, you would need to file amendment to show the bankruptcy Court that you are now legally separated after you have obtained the Judgment of Separation and thus your husband's expenses and income should not be used to calculate the means test and whether you can afford the Chapter 13 plan payments.

If you do not have any follow-up question(s), kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for doing this.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My husbands income was never considered on the plan. I don't understand why it would be considered after the fact . The plan payment was based on my income . My question stated it was an individual not joint chapter 13.
Please advise
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 months ago.

Hello,

Different contributor here. Please permit me to assist.

Once a Chapter 13 plan is confirmed, the debtor and creditors are all bound by the plan orders. Unless the court expressly requires that you notify the trustee or the court of a change in your marital status, then you have no obligation to provide notice and you are free to divorce or legally separate, at your sole discretion.

There may be property issues that could be effected by a legal separation, such as determining who is ultimately responsible to pay a mortgage or other debt, which requires payment through or outside of the bankruptcy plan. However, as long as the payments are made timely, the plan will remain in force, and the trustee will have no reason to ask the court to modify the plan to account for the change.

Bottom line: satisfy the plan requirements, and you can simply continue as married, divorced, legally separated, etc. Fail to satisfy the plan requirements, and you risk a dismissal, plan modification request by the trustee or conversion to Chapter 7.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 months ago.

Hello again,

I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?

If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) – otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.
Thanks again for using Justanswer!