Can I File Bankruptcy Without My Spouse?

When you file for bankruptcy, all your property (with certain exceptions) are included in the bankruptcy. If you are married in Arizona, which is a community property state, all your separate property and also all community property under your sole, equal, or joint management are included in bankruptcy (even if your spouse does not file for bankruptcy). On the other hand, the separate property of your spouse is not part of your bankruptcy.

The separate property is the property acquired before marriage and some property acquired during marriage (for example by gift or inheritance). The community property is property acquired during marriage.

The bankruptcy discharge prohibits creditors from collecting the debts that were discharged in bankruptcy.  The creditors with claims against you and the community cannot collect those debts from your separate assets and community assets.  They can still collect the debts from the spouse that has not filed bankruptcy.  The spouse that has not filed bankruptcy is also liable for her or his separate debts.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law, excluded numerous exceptions in order to outline the principle of the community discharge.  If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, call us at 480-425-2009 or contact us via our website and we will make sure your assets are protected and you get the maximum relief from your debts through bankruptcy.