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Filing Bankruptcy When You Have A Difficult Almost Ex-Spouse

Posted By admin || 14-Jul-2010

Filing Bankruptcy When You Have A Difficult Almost Ex-SpouseWhen a debtor files bankruptcy, they may need to disclose the income and assets of the non-filing spouse. For example, if the debtor is taking the Means Test , the income and assets of the non-filing spouse may be important to determining if they qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or if they must file Chapter 13 bankruptcy .

But what happens when a debtor filing bankruptcy has an uncooperative spouse who is not living with them or refuses to have contact with them? 

Filing Bankruptcy When You Have A Difficult Almost Ex-Spouse

Below are a few things a debtor should do if their non-filing spouse will not cooperate with the bankruptcy filing:

  1. Contact the spouse and let them know you are filing bankruptcy. Do this in writing. Spell out exactly what you need from them and tell them how, if at all, cooperating with your bankruptcy will benefit them.  Make sure you have proof that you have tried to contact your spouse regarding your bankruptcy by sending letters certified mail.
  2. Provide proof to the bankruptcy court that you did due diligence in trying to get the information from your spouse.  Due diligence will be more than just a phone call and a letter. You may want to try sending several letters over a period of weeks and also call your spouse to show that you have put forth the effort to contact your spouse.  If for some reason you do not know where your spouse lives due to a hostile breakup, try contacting his/her friends and family via letter and phone and keep record of your attempts.
  3. Take the time to thoroughly explain to the bankruptcy court why you are not able to provide the information about your spouse's income and assets.  This may require you to disclose some of the details of your separation that directly impact your ability to access your spouse's income and asset information.

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