Just because you need to file for bankruptcy does not necessarily mean that your spouse will need to file as well. There are many reasons why only one spouse would have the need to file for bankruptcy protection. Maybe your spouse does not have any significant debt to warrant filing for bankruptcy, or your spouse has good credit and does not want to have a bankruptcy on his or her credit report, or maybe he or she does not qualify to receive a bankruptcy discharge because of a recent filing. The bottom line is that no matter the reason, your spouse is not required to file for bankruptcy. However, just because your spouse is not filing for bankruptcy with you does not mean your spouse does not have any obligations in your bankruptcy case.
Many spouses have the mentality that since they are not filing for bankruptcy they should not be involved in the bankruptcy case in any aspect, but that is not true. Your spouse will still need to provide pay stubs for the 6-month period right before your bankruptcy case is filed. Your spouse’s pay stubs and yours are needed for purposes of calculating your average household income for the 6-month period on the Means Test. For example, if you plan to file your case on July 31, 2015, you will need to provide you and your spouse’s pay stubs from February 1, 2015 through July 31, 2015 to complete the 6-month period.
Another requirement is that you must provide 60 days of pay stubs to the Trustee who is administering your case at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting of creditors also referred to as the 341 Hearing. This consists of the 60 day period prior to your bankruptcy filing and you should be in good shape on this one as your Attorney can simply pull from the 6-months of paystubs your already required to provide him or her. In the example used above, you would be required to provide you and your spouse’s paystubs for the period of June 1, 2015 through July 31, 2015. Most Jurisdictions require the 60 days of pay stubs to be not only provided to the Trustee, but also to be filed with the Court. At Bond and Botes, we file the pay stubs with the Court for you and also send them to your Trustee.
You need to reassure your spouse that just because he or she is providing pay stubs in your bankruptcy case does not mean that he or she is filing for bankruptcy with you. Your spouse’s credit will not be affected by providing the necessary pay stubs and she will not have to sign any documents pertaining to your Bankruptcy petition.
At Bond & Botes, our affiliated offices offer free initial consultations. Please feel free to call one of our conveniently located offices to set up a private consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We will analyze your situation and help you to make the best decision possible to help you eliminate your debt once and for all.