If you are a spouse. a former spouse or an ex the bankruptcy code has something for you! You figure into the scheme of things in a variety of ways. For more topic specific explanations click the links within each paragraph:
Joint bankruptcy filing
Married couples can file a bankruptcy case, even if you are not living together. It is the ultimate twofer. In my office the only fee difference is $22 for the second credit report. Otherwise it costs the same for one or two.
If you are married, you can file your case with your spouse being involved. It will only be necessary to include the income of your counterpart in Schedule I and the means test if you are living in the same household.
A direct benefit of only one spouse filing is the means test marital adjustment. This provision allows the filing spouse to reduce monthly income by the amount the other pays for items that do not benefit the household. Things include 401k payments, debt service, vices, really just about anything. If you file jointly these deductions are not available.
Discharge debt before divorce
At one time divorce was all about dividing and keeping assets. No more. Now it’s who pays what. You can still unload your debt in bankruptcy, even if separated. Filing takes that weight off the table. It then becomes about assets and support. Both of you can then go forward in life.
Two part schedule J
If two spouses are living separately then in the schedules they report their living expenses on different pages in Schedule J.
DSO is fancy federal speak for child support and alimony. In Ohio we are even more ahead of the curve because we call alimony spousal support. Support and alimony have never been dischargeable in bankruptcy. In fact if you owe it, then filing bankruptcy might just make it more likely you will afford the payments in the future.
Other provisions in divorce order
BAPCPA changed how obligations other than support are handled in bankruptcy. Previously property support obligations could be discharged in chapter 7. No more! Any obligation in a divorce order or separation agreement which benefits a spouse or child can only be discharged in a chapter 13. That usually would mean that there will be some sort of plan payment for the benefit of the spouse or child over the three to five year duration of the plan.
If you are a spouse, a former spouse or ex you can easily see that you have a real role in the bankruptcy process.
Other attorneys in the bankruptcy alphabet game say:
- Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell claims S is for Schedules and Statements.
- Dorota Trzeciecka Bankruptcy Blog discusses S is for Statutory Lien.
- Bay Area bankruptcy lawyer Cathy Moran says S is for Strip.
- Jay S. Fleischman says S is for Security Interest
- Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Lawyer Bob Doig leads the pack saying S is for Student Loan.
- Hawaii Bankruptcy Lawyer, Stuart T. Ing also talks about S being for Student Loans.
- WilksLaw, – DC Metro blogs S is for Stuff.
- Kurt O’Keefe Michigan bankruptcy lawyer want you to know S is for Step Plan.
- Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, Mark J. Markus tells you about stripping in bankruptcy court.