Your questions answered: I’m married, do my spouse and I both have to file bankruptcy?

This is a question I have received quite a bit over the years, but it seems to be coming up more and more these days. The simple answer is: NO, you can absolutely file for bankruptcy protection as an individual, even if you are married!

Whether you should or not depends on who is legally liable on the debts that you have. If you have individual debts, then filing by yourself may make the most sense for your family. If you have joint debts with your spouse however, it may not be a good idea to file an individual bankruptcy, as this may leave your non-filing spouse liable for the outstanding joint debt.

One nice feature of bankruptcy is that if you both do have to file, a couple who is legally married can file a joint case for no additional cost. That’s like getting two bankruptcies for the price of one!