So you are in the midst of a divorce and there is a significant amount of joint marital debt that is weighing you down and has caused stress in your marriage. You have been advised that a bankruptcy will relieve you of this debt and allow you to move on. The only problem is, your spouse doesn’t want to file. What do you do?

The answer is, nothing! Just file by yourself and get the relief you need! There is nothing in bankruptcy law that says that a married couple must file together if there is joint debt, so don’t let a recalcitrant spouse hold you back!

But there are two things you and your spouse must bear in mind:

  1. Your divorce judge may order you to pay the marital debt, and that obligation will survive a chapter 7 bankruptcy even if the obligation to the creditor does not.
  2. Your spouse still faces collection action by the original creditor, as it does not care what the family court judge has ruled; the debt was not discharged by the non-filing spouse.

The bottom line is that your spouse needs to swallow his or her pride and agree to file jointly with you. It gets rid of the obligations for both of you and simplifies your divorce, in that you don’t have to fight over apportioning them. You can then get on with your lives financially.

So What Do I Do?

If you live in southern New Jersey, are getting divorced, and are considering filing bankruptcy, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your case.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy, then download my free book,Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.

If you are looking for more information on how bankruptcy might help you with your divorce, then you should download my free book, Top Questions Divorcing Couples Ask About NJ Bankruptcy.

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.