Yes. Just because you are married, you are not required to file a joint case. You must disclose your household income, and whether you are keeping your income and expenses separate. But you can file without your spouse.
It is always a good idea to see the bankruptcy lawyer with your spouse. Then you won't have to go home and answer your spouse's questions. Sometimes we recommend that one spouse NOT file, or that one file Chapter 7, and the other file Chapter 13.
Many people have debts that they had before the marriage. A spouse is not liable for the other spouse's premarital debts.
Your filing does not affect the other spouse's obligation to pay debts they are liable on. In community property states, like Wisconsin, your bankruptcy leaves your spouse with any debt incurred during the marriage, unless the spouse also files.
If you ran up the bills during the marriage, even though your spouse did not sign for the debt, or even know about it, your creditors may be able to collect from your spouse. Many states have "family expense" laws that make one spouse responsible for the debts of another if the debts were incurred for family purposes. The theory is that each spouse owes a duty to immediate family members to support them. Food, clothing, rent, medical bills and household items can be the responsibility of the other spouse.
Therefore, while you can file a case alone, you may have to take into consideration both your spouse's income, even if you keep your income and expenses separately, and any liability your spouse may have for your debts. You can protect your spouse from this liability by a joint filing, or, you can pay the debts that your spouse is liable for in a Chapter 13.
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