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St Louis Bankruptcy Lawyer: Do I Have To Include My Spouse If I File For Bankruptcy?

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No, you do not. Even if you are married, you can still file a St Louis bankruptcy by yourself (i.e. individually). However, the bankruptcy code requires that all household income be disclosed to the court. So if your spouse earns or receives any income, then you will have a duty to make that clear (through your attorney) to the Bankruptcy Trustee.

When you file for bankruptcy in the state of Missouri, the court will ask you to show the Trustee all of your household income. Whether it is the wages you earn from your job, profit from a business, child support, or any other source of income (like governmental assistance in the form of unemployment benefits, Veteran’s benefits, SSI, of food stamps). In addition, it will be necessary to disclose all income that your spouse earns/receives (even if he/she is not filing jointly with you).

Why will it be necessary to disclose (i.e. make the court aware) of your spouse’s income? Because that is how the court determines if you are an “above” or “below” median income household. For example, if you are a household of three (you, your non-filing spouse, and a minor child), then the median income for your household size is: $63,491 (as of November 1, 2015). Your household income is either above or below that mark (after all deductions, such as taxes, insurance, or retirement withholdings are accounted for).

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If you are below the median income level, then you qualify for a discharge of unsecured debt (like credit cards medical bills, payday loans, etc.) in either a St Louis Chapter 7 or a St Louis Chapter 13. This is obviously a significant factor in your decision of whether or not to file for bankruptcy, so it is important information to get to your attorney!!

But the best way to figure out what your options might be in the world of bankruptcy is to contact us immediately! We will take you through each step of the process, make sure to answer all of your questions, and fully describe to you what we believe to be your best option.

The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at Brinkman & Alter, LLC have been saving and protecting people’s assets for years. Our goal is to make sure that you keep the assets and property you want, discharge the debts that you want to get rid of, and do it all at an affordable cost to you. All phone conversations and office consultations are free of charge.

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