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.
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!
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.