What Happens If I Marry Someone Who Filed Chapter 7?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | family law, personal bankruptcy |

Marrying someone is a significant life decision that requires careful consideration. Beyond compatibility as partners, looking into each other’s financial circumstances is also important. For example, if you are planning to marry someone who has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is important to grasp its potential consequences. You might want to understand how it may impact your financial future together.

What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows individuals to discharge their debts and start fresh. During the process, an appointed trustee reviews the filer’s financial situation. They will sell any nonexempt assets to repay creditors. Usually, most of the filer’s debts are eliminated once they have completed filing for bankruptcy.

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a personal process. Your partner’s bankruptcy filing will not affect your credit score or financial obligations directly. If you have not co-signed any of their debts, their debts and financial history should remain separate from yours.

Potential impact on joint credit applications

While your partner’s bankruptcy will not directly affect your credit, there are some factors that you still need to consider. For one, if you and your spouse decide to apply for joint credit accounts or loans after marriage, lenders may take into account both of your credit histories. Your spouse’s bankruptcy may have an impact on their credit score. It might affect the approval of your joint applications or result in higher interest rates.

Community property states

Additionally, if you plan to live in a community property state, your spouse’s bankruptcy might indirectly affect you. In community property states, debts incurred during the marriage are generally considered joint liabilities. If your spouse’s debts were accrued before marriage, they could still impact shared assets or income acquired after marriage.

Protecting Your financial interests

Remember, marrying someone who has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not automatically put you at risk. But you can build a strong foundation for your future together if you have open and honest discussions with your partner regarding their bankruptcy history and future financial goals.