Can One Spouse File Bankruptcy in Texas?

Deciding to file bankruptcy is a complicated decision, especially if one partner is ready to move forward and the other isn’t. To learn more about the process that happens if one spouse files for bankruptcy without their spouse, talk with a Texas bankruptcy attorney to learn your next steps.

While it’s possible for one spouse to file bankruptcy without the other, it can still affect both parties. If this is something you are considering, contact my firm. I have been working in bankruptcy law since 2009 and have handled many bankruptcy cases over the course of my career. I can help you find the right relief plan and get started on your journey to success in filing for bankruptcy.

How Filing for Bankruptcy Can Affect You and Your Spouse

If you file for bankruptcy, that claim will not appear on your spouse’s credit, but it will appear on yours. While it is true that you can file for bankruptcy without your spouse and it may not immediately affect their credit, your spouse may still be affected by that decision. For instance, it’s possible that you may lose your property, such as your house, when filing for bankruptcy. This will also affect your spouse’s life since you have lost the house you both live in. Speaking with an attorney about bankruptcy exemptions can help protect your home and other assets.

Can one spouse file bankruptcy in Texas?

How to File Bankruptcy in Texas

Your first conversation regarding filing bankruptcy may be about whether to include your spouse in the filing. Regardless of which you choose, you must then decide to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Each chapter has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss later.

Once you decide which filing is right for your situation, you need to get your paperwork together. You will need:

  • Your income tax returns
  • Proof of debt
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of your spouse’s incomes

Generally, you may also need to take a course about debt and bring the certificate of completion. These will be presented to the court to help determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy.

You will also need:

  • Bank statements
  • Driver’s license/ID
  • Social Security card
  • The values of your house and car
  • Proof of any rare or collectible items you own

These are called your assets, and they all have value. The values will be used when the court determines how to pay back your debt. Some of these may be in your spouse’s name, and some may be only in your name. You can’t hide assets during bankruptcy, but the right attorney can help you determine what your assets are if you are filing without a spouse.

When you hire an attorney, you are making sure you get the required paperwork to file for bankruptcy. Missing or fraudulent paperwork could result in your case being dismissed.

Different Types of Bankruptcy Claims

Deciding to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 may not be an easy decision. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and both have different qualifications. To determine which is right for you, consider the following about each:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is faster, usually taking about three to six months to complete. All of your debt will be discharged under Chapter 7. You could lose some of your assets, such as your house or car, especially if you were not current on your payments. You could qualify for Chapter 7 if you do not have enough extra income to pay off your monthly debts or if you make less than the median income.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Chapter 13 takes anywhere from three to five years to complete, but it could be the safer option of the two. You will enter a repayment plan under this chapter. Some debts, like your house payments or child support, will be paid in full. Debts like credit cards will be partially repaid. If you file for a bankruptcy exemption, you might be able to keep your house or your car. You can qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you are able to meet your monthly payments.


Q: Can I File for Bankruptcy in Texas Without My Spouse?

A: Yes, you can. You will need proof of your spouse’s income and your own if you filed your taxes together. A list of documents you will need has been provided in the article. If you are still living with your spouse, the court may ask you for some of your spouse’s information. If you are separated, you may not need it.

Q: Can You Be Denied Bankruptcy in Texas?

A: Yes, if the court decides you are not being truthful about your assets. If you have had a bankruptcy case dismissed in the last 180 days, they may also dismiss your case. It’s important to be honest about your assets. If the court believes you are committing some sort of fraud, they may not allow you to file for bankruptcy.

Q: Can You File for Bankruptcy During a Divorce in Texas?

A: Yes. You can either file separately or jointly, just like you would if you were married. More than likely, you would file separately from your spouse in this scenario. You would need to bring all of the listed information above to the court. Once you do that, you may be able to file for bankruptcy separately.

Q: How Does a Married Couple File for Bankruptcy?

A: To file as a married couple, you file a joint petition for bankruptcy. You will have to present joint assets, such as your car, your house, your incomes, and your debts. You also need the information listed above: your bank statements, your proofs of income, etc. It is ideal to get the help of an attorney in any case.

Contact Steele Law Firm for Bankruptcy Help

Filing for bankruptcy can be difficult without the help of an attorney. Important documents could be missed, or you could end up picking the wrong bankruptcy plan. We are here to help you. Contact us today to get started with your consultation.

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