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Filing jointly, separate households. On means test, what's our household size?

Lake Oswego, OR |

My wife and I are separated, filing bankruptcy jointly. I live with a friend in a rental. She lives with our son in our house. I understand that we will list our household expenses separately on two Schedule J's. But the means test asks for "debtor's household size." Must we say 2 for the size of wife's household? Can we say 3?

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Attorney answers 3


There is no answer to this question. Why not 4 if you live with a friend and she lives with your son? This question has yet to be determined definitively by the courts. This is why you should be using an attorney who is proficient in how your local court's have been deciding local cases.



Thank you. Confusing, since 4 people live in 2 households. Seems like that would change the median standards for the means test. Wow ...


If you are filing bankruptcy jointly, in the joint petition you can claim yourself, your wife and your son. If you are also supporting your friend, you may be able to claim him/her as well.

Hope this perspective helps!



And then the friend's income comes into play ...


I agree with Mr. Walton that the question has not been decided. The question is how many people does the debtor support. It may be a situation where two separate means tests are necessary (I have done that before when the people were separated with two separate households).

Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.



Thank you.

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