Federal Law Prohibits Unmarried Couples from Filing Joint Bankruptcy in Edmond, OK


All over the world, filing bankruptcy is a case-sensitive issue, whether it involves a married couple or live-in partners. The question often comes up in front of attorneys whether a couple can file a joint bankruptcy outside the bond of marriage. Unfortunately, the answer is no. But you can contact a bankruptcy attorney in Edmond, OK, to help you get through your problems.

When married couples are overwhelmed by shared financial trouble, filing joint bankruptcy is legal and easy. Married couples oftentimes can file the case individually or jointly according to the best solution to their financial trouble. Everyone’s case is unique, so it is always a wise idea to consult a bankruptcy attorney in Edmond, OK, to understand it better and to know how to act under complicated debt situations.

If you are not a married couple but have joint debts on your shoulders, it is better to seek advice from an attorney to know how to deal with it the best. Even if you have been living together for a long time, the federal laws do not allow you to file a joint bankruptcy case.

While filing for bankruptcy, the house and other property will go through a means test, and at that time you should not mention your boyfriend, girlfriend or live-in partner as a spouse on the form. The means test is only to determine whether you should file under chapter 7 or under chapter 13. Lying on the form not only can dismiss your case, but you also can be convicted of violating the laws and may lose the help of your bankruptcy attorney in Edmond, OK.

Rules for Same-Sex Couples:

According to the revolutionary order enacted and enforced by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, same-sex marriage is legal. Therefore, married same-sex couples can file joint bankruptcy, as they are entitled to the same legal benefits as heterosexual couples.

The law under chapter 13 clearly says, “A joint case under a chapter of this title is commenced by the filing with the bankruptcy court of a single petition under such chapter by an individual that may be a debtor under such chapter and such individual’s spouse.” The word “spouse” is clearly mentioned and highlighted here.

The bottom line is that a couple can separately or jointly file bankruptcy when married, but if the couple is not married, it should always be an individual filing.

** Disclaimer: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-attorney relationship.