“How will my filing bankruptcy affect my husband?”
I recently received this question from a panicked Dallas GA bankruptcy client on the phone this past week. She had recently remarried and did not want to harm her new husband in any way shape or form. In her first marriage, she and her now former spouse incurred a significant amount of credit card debt. As part of the divorce agreement, they agreed that each person would pay half the debt. When she found a new man and remarried, her ex-husband became jealous and decided that he was no longer going to pay any more of the credit card debt. As a result, she ended up getting sued and garnished for it.
She had mistakenly believed that her divorce order protected her from lawsuits and garnishments because it clearly stated that her ex-husband had to pay half of the credit card debt. The truth is that the credit card company was not bound by the order. When two people sign a credit card contract, the company can choose the easiest target to collect money. In this case, it was her.
Since her new husband is not listed on any of her debts, her bankruptcy will not affect him at all. She and the new husband have never signed any credit contracts together. They are not listed jointly on any mortgages together. You can imagine how relieved she was to hear that her filing bankruptcy will not harm the new man.
However, she was a bit concerned when I told her that her current husband’s income will have an impact in determining whether or not she qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under the median income test, both husband and wife’s gross income must be used in the calculations. In her situation, her new husband earned a high income that knocked her out of being able to file chapter 7 bankruptcy.
It does not matter if the husband and wife have two different economic worlds. Even when she has her checking account and he has his separately, both gross incomes must be used in the median income calculations.
Every case is different. If you want to truly know your options, call me today at 706-295-0030 for your free consultation.