Do I have to tell my fiancé that I am filing for bankruptcy?

Clint Spencer Dunaway

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Bankruptcy Attorney

Contributor Level 8

Posted over 1 year ago. 1 helpful vote

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You do not have a legal responsibility to tell your fiancé of an impending bankruptcy, however, you may feel a moral responsibility to do so. There isn’t a legal responsibility to tell a fiancé of an upcoming bankruptcy because you aren’t married. In the eyes of the bankruptcy court you’re married or you’re not, there’s nothing in between. So if you’re single on the day you file for bankruptcy then you will go through the entire bankruptcy process as a single person. By filing the bankruptcy as a single person your fiancé does not need to sign any of the paperwork filed with the court nor does he or she need to appear in court at the 341 hearing. However, if your fiancé co-signed with you on a vehicle or house then they’re going to find out about the bankruptcy whether you want them to or not.

In most cases filing bankruptcy prior to marriage is a good idea. Discharging all of your debts prior to starting your marriage will give you a clean break from your old debts and a fresh start. This way you won’t run the risk of subjecting your new spouse to garnishments, liens, or bank levies. A large percentage of marriages end because of financial problems and so hiding financial problems from a soon-to-be spouse might add unneeded stress to a new marriage. Filing bankruptcy would remove any need to try and hide debts you may be currently carrying.

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