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Ask Terry L. Your Own Question
Terry L.
Terry L., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience:  Better Business Bureau. 18yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar Assoc. American Bankruptcy Institute member.
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Bankruptcy Law. I have filed a Chapter 7 BK, not yet discharged.

Resolved Question:

Bankruptcy Law.
I have filed a Chapter 7 BK, not yet discharged. My wife and I are seperated. I live in Tennessee and she lives in Wisconsin. I have never lived in WI. My wife will be filing a Chapter 7 in WI soon. I received my paperwork and noticed in the Statement of Financial Affairs, Question 16 indicates: "If the debtor resides or rewsided in a community property state (WI is one) within 8 years immediately preceeding commencement of the case, identify the name of the debtor's spouse and of any former spouse who resides or resided with the debtos in the community property state. At this point, I have never resided in WI, but I am wondering what would happen if I resided with her. Would I be liable for her debt? None of her debt is joint, but WI is much different than TN. I hope I have made this clear. Thanks so much!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Terry L. replied 7 years ago.
HI. Since you are already filed, you do not live there and have not in the last 8 years, you are not subject to the community property rules. Speak to your divorce lawyer about preparing the marital settlement agreement if you are anticipating a divorce. Generally, community property laws say debts incurred during the marriage are joint responsibility. Since you both are filing, most of the debt will be discharged anyway, unless either of you reaffirms the debt.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
We both have individual (not joint) debt that we did incur during the marriage. My main concern is that I might be residing with her in WI at the time she files for BK. She would then be required to provide my name on the Statement of Financial Affairs. I have not listed her creditors in my BK. Now it seems more probable that I will be residing in WI with her at the time she files. How can I prevent being responsible for her debt? Thanks again!
Expert:  Terry L. replied 7 years ago.
IF you live together and incur debt before she files, you could be held liable for that debt.

If you want to be safe, file divorce before you move to Wisconsin, and after she files her bankruptcy. You can even file the divorce in TN too. It gets complicated with the community property laws, so discuss the implications with your divorce lawyer to avoid liability for her debt to get specific advice as to the intricate details of the community property laws and your divorce obligations. Thanks for your question, good luck.
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