Bankruptcy for the Non-Filing Spouse

Bankruptcy for the Non-Filing Spouse 

In most cases, if you’re married and in debt, you and your spouse file for bankruptcy jointly. However, in some cases, you and your spouse might file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 separately. Or, if you’re getting divorced, you will also opt to file separately – or your spouse might file. 

In these cases, let our Daigle Law Office experts represent you, help you through the bankruptcy process, and determine how your assets are impacted. 

What Happens When You File For Bankruptcy During a Divorce? 

Filing for bankruptcy during a divorce can be a complex situation with significant consequences. There are many factors to consider, including: 

Automatic Stay 

  • When you file for bankruptcy, an “automatic stay” goes into effect. This temporarily halts most collection efforts from creditors, including those related to marital debts. This can provide temporary relief from creditor harassment. However, the automatic stay typically applies to the filing spouse’s debts and assets, not necessarily to the other spouse. 

Impact on Property Division 

  • Divorce settlements typically involve dividing marital property and debts. However, a bankruptcy filing can complicate this process. The bankruptcy court will take control of the assets in the estate (which may or may not include all marital assets). This can delay the finalization of the divorce settlement as the bankruptcy proceedings unfold. 

Debt Discharge 

  • Not all debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy. In some cases, filing jointly might be an option to discharge some marital debts. However, there are strict requirements, and some debts, like child support or alimony, cannot be eliminated through bankruptcy. 

Impact on Each Spouse 

  • The filing spouse’s exemption limits will determine which assets are protected from creditors. The non-filing spouse’s assets are generally not affected by the bankruptcy filing. However, suppose they were jointly liable for a debt the filing spouse discharges in bankruptcy. In that case, the creditor may still come after them for repayment. 

Benefits of Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney 

When going through bankruptcy during a divorce – or if your spouse files for bankruptcy separately from you – it’s essential to hire a bankruptcy attorney. A Massachusetts bankruptcy attorney can advise you on the best course of action based on your specific financial situation and help you navigate the complexities of filing for bankruptcy during a divorce. 

Bankruptcy attorneys offer numerous advantages, including: 

  • Advise You on Joint vs. Individual Filing: Our attorneys can analyze your financial situation and advise whether filing jointly with your spouse or individually makes more economic sense. They can navigate the complexities of joint filings and ensure both spouses understand the implications. 
  • Protect Your Assets:  Our firm will help you understand bankruptcy exemptions and strategically plan to protect your assets from liquidation. This is especially crucial during a divorce when marital assets are being divided. 
  • Negotiate with Creditors: Our firm can represent you in negotiations with creditors. They can leverage their experience to potentially negotiate lower settlements or repayment plans for debts included in the bankruptcy filing.
  • Handle Complexities: Bankruptcy during divorce creates numerous legal hurdles. A bankruptcy attorney can take the burden off your shoulders, handling all the legal paperwork, court appearances, and creditor communication. 
  • Provide Support: Filing for bankruptcy and going through a divorce can be emotionally draining. An experienced attorney can provide guidance and support throughout the process, helping you navigate this challenging period. 

Why Hire Us to Handle Your Bankruptcy During a Divorce? 


Whether you are in the process of a divorce, remarried, and have bills separately, or for other reasons, Daigle Law Office will provide you with the utmost competent and experienced support and help protect your rights. 

To schedule a free consultation, please call Daigle Law Office today at 508-771-7444.

What our clients think about us

Daigle Law Office
Based on 124 reviews
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Brian OBrian O
10:37 13 May 24
From my initial phone call and talk with Atty Daigle, to working with Ann Marie and Tracey, my experience with Daigle Law Office has been great. They walked me through everything and got me started back on the right track. I would highly recommend Daigle Law Office for those seeking to get themselves back on track financially.
Yuliya MalinkovichYuliya Malinkovich
21:42 10 May 24
Working with Ann Marie and the entire team was a fantastic experience
Abby MoralesAbby Morales
21:03 21 Mar 24
BEST OF THE BEST! staff always friendly and attentive, process was so easy and they help all the way through. would recommend to everyone.
Chris ManchukChris Manchuk
00:03 21 Mar 24
Ryan BrownRyan Brown
23:22 19 Mar 24
Susan BrownSusan Brown
19:16 23 Oct 23
They get right to work on your file & are very pleasant. Helped me not to stress. Very nice group. I worked with Ann Marie Ellis super nice to work with. Everyone in the office are great. Very knowledgeable & compassionate.
Mary BarbozaMary Barboza
02:22 14 Sep 23
Karyn Lukas is a terrific bankruptcy lawyer! She is very knowledgeable and passionate. She helped us with all our needs and was quick to respond. Such a wonderful person when I met her face to face. Very organized and attention to detail lawyer. She always double checks her work and never assumes anything. It was such a pleasure to have her as my bankruptcy lawyer. The Daigle law office team is amazing and I would highly recommend them!- Denise
13:36 12 Sep 23
Daigle law firm is fantastic and very professional, courteous and polite. Very helpful throughout the process for my situation. I thank you all for everything. Briana, Jessica and especially Karyn Lukas. Karyn helped me through this ordeal and helped calm my many anxieties. I appreciate her. Also, I thank Peter Daigle for taking the time to call me himself and oversee everything. I will recommend Daigle always. Thank you again.
Jeff KellyJeff Kelly
02:47 20 May 15
Peter Daigle is a great guy. He is easy to talk with and he will fight hard for you. If you need an attorney in the Cape Cod area, you need to call Peter.
Jeanne WalshJeanne Walsh
02:02 03 Apr 15
Excellent experience, Peter Daigle and his office people were professional, sensitive and caring about their clients. Carla Roy is extraordinary.
suzanne rohanesuzanne rohane
22:20 26 Feb 15
Peter and Karen were both helpful, kind, and courteous to us during the whole process of our bankruptcy. I would strongly recommend Peter and Karen to anyone having any issues with bankruptcy.

Contact Daigle Law Office

Call Now: 508-771-7444. Or submit your inquiry below. We look forward to having the opportunity to work with you!

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