if the divorce is final, or youhave a separation agreement that allocates debts, you do no have to file jointly with her , I n fact, you can't.
If thigs havn't been finalized, and you have no reason to file, tell her no. But check with a BK lawyer ( not your divorce lawyer) as well
The only way to find out if the lawyer will take a smaller amount is to ask. It's not uncommon for attorney to agree to lower fees or accept a payment plan.
I am not YOUR lawyer. Don't rely on answers to questions as legal advice. For legal advice contact a Bankruptcy Attorney for a consultation. Tokarska Law Center is a Federal Debt Relief Agency representing individuals and businesses in filing for bankrutpcy protection under the U.S. Bankrutpcy Code. Kathryn U. Tokarska is a San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, owner of Tokarska Law Center, 185 West F Street #100, San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 285-1992 www.sdbankrupt.com
You may want to file jointly if you are still legally married because you both can eliminate all your debts, joint and individual for basically the same fee. If you have a property settlement agreement and debts are being allocated between the two spouses, if one spouse fails to pay, many times the creditor will pursue the non-BK spouse on joint debts. You don't have to file, but it may be an advantage. Consult a BK lawyer ASAP.
You do not have to file bankruptcy it is voluntary. If your married I recommend filing jointly to administer the community assets and to discharge the community and individual liability. You may want to stay together for the sake of the bankruptcy and get divorced after the discharge is issued.
The law can be very complex in the cross between marriage dissolution and bankruptcy. The short answer to your question is no, you don't have to file, but the longer answer is that by not filing, if you qualify, you may be putting your community assets at some risk. It would serve you to schedule a consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney that also has experience or knowledge regarding divorce, community property and marital settlement agreements. Good luck.