Bankruptcy

questions & answers

Question: Can one spouse file bankruptcy without the other filing? If not,can husband and wife divorce, how long after can the one spouse file for bankruptcy

Answer:

Generally one spouse can file bankruptcy without the other filing.  But Arizona is a community property state and all community property is property of the bankruptcy estate.  This means that a person may still be required turn over property to the bankruptcy trustee even if that person is not the one who filed for bankruptcy. 

If a husband and wife are getting a divorce and they file bankruptcy, generally the bankruptcy will put a stay on the divorce proceeding.  The parties can ask the Bankruptcy Court to lift the stay so that the divorce can go forward (for all issues not related to property division, like child support or custody), but the property division will still be under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court. 

To find out specifically how family law and bankruptcy interract, you may want to consult with an attorney. The bankruptcy court offers a self service center, a bankruptcy hotline (866-553-0893) as well as a good amount of information about bankruptcy online.

QUESTIONS

  • Can one spouse file bankruptcy without the other filing? If not,can husband and wife divorce, how long after can the one spouse file for bankruptcy

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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