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Is my husband exempt from paying my debt if I file bankruptcy as we have always paid separate taxes and house is in his name?

Boston, MA |

We are in a second marriage. Modest assets (home, cars, et al) are all in his name. We have always filed taxes separately and kept our finances completely separate. Our only income is his social security which pays the mortgage. He is on Medicaid; but I have had to drop my health insurance - even though it is required by State law. My business has bottomed out and left me $140+K in debt, including outstanding IRS taxes from a previous year and numerous college loans. Prospects for future business are not looking good. Debt consolidation is a likely next step, but I have no income. Bankruptcy may be the only solution. I've been advised that I can go bankrupt without affecting his assets. Is that true?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Bankruptcy was designed to give the debtor a fresh start, and often it is a great relief. If bankruptcy is the right solution, your spouse will generally not be liable for your debts.

    Keep in mind that bankruptcy will not relieve you of all of your debts, particularly taxes and -- in most cases -- student loan debt. Your next step should be to call an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area.

    That way, you'll obtain the right advice for your particular situation and you can start planning for your own fresh start. For more general information, you can visit the Bankruptcy Court's website.


  2. Debt consolidation won't work for you because you don't have income to fund a plan. It seems like bankruptcy is an alternative you need to explore. You probably can't get rid of your student loan or taxes, but you probably can erase your credit card and business debt. From the information you have provided I think you can do this without any real effect on your husband, but further review of your situation is needed to conclusively answer that question.

    Dan Gindes