Here's another reason why many debtors filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without the help of a bankruptcy attorney find themselves in a heap of financial trouble. Most debtors who are married but filing alone don't understand that they will be required to use a means test form to determine their eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy; but that particular form might unlawfully disqualify them from Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The problem is that the form required for the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test includes all of the non-debtor spouse's income when comparing the monthly income to the median income without making any allowances for expenses that non-debtor spouse may be solely responsible for such as; child support, taxes etc. Because of this, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test calculation might give a false indication of what the debtor spouse's true monthly income is when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
With the help of a bankruptcy attorney, a married debtor filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy alone can advocate to a bankruptcy court to take this discrepancy into consideration. In such a situation a bankruptcy attorney may even ask that a debtor spouse be allowed to use the Chapter 13 bankruptcy means test instead of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test to make sure the debtor is treated fairly.