When your spouse approached you and told you that they were behind on their bills can had a heavy debt load that you didn’t know about, you were shocked. You realize that a bankruptcy may be a good option for them, but you don’t want to end up with a bankruptcy on your record, too, because of their actions.
Now, you’re in a tough position. Should you divorce and then let your partner handle these issues on their own? Can you stay together but file in a way that won’t affect you?
Here’s what you should know.
- If you don’t owe any debts, let your spouse handle bankruptcy alone
If you don’t share in the debts that are overwhelming your spouse and you want to keep your credit score protected, you can ask them to go through bankruptcy alone without involving you. As long as you don’t have shared debts and don’t file together, your spouse’s bankruptcy shouldn’t reflect on your credit report.
- If you want to divorce, a bankruptcy before divorce could help
If you and your spouse do share some of the debts and you want to walk away from the marriage, going through a bankruptcy before divorcing might be a good idea. Doing this can make your divorce much easier, since you won’t have to divide debts during it and will have a full understanding of the assets that you’ve retained.
- If you share debt and want to stay together, a bankruptcy may still be a good idea
If you and your spouse do share debts or they’ve taken out debts on shared credit cards, for example, then going through a joint bankruptcy may not be a bad idea. While it may be your wish to avoid it, you could end up getting stuck with the shared debts if they go through bankruptcy alone and have their responsibility discharged.
These are a few things to consider as you figure out how you want to approach your spouse’s debt load. This can be a complex situation, but it’s possible to resolve the bankruptcy and sort out your marriage to help you both move forward.