If you are wondering whether you can file bankruptcy on your own without your spouse, you will first need to know whether you live in a community property state. Kentucky is not a community property state, so that affects how your bankruptcy filing will proceed. This will give you slightly more favorable treatment when you file bankruptcy on your own without your spouse.

Your bankruptcy estate

When you file bankruptcy alone, your bankruptcy estate will include the property that is titled in your name. You are seeking to get the debts in your name discharged. Your spouse may have their own separate debt in their name since there is no community debt in the marriage unless you and your spouse have a joint account. In other words, if your spouse holds their own property, it is not subject to being surrendered in the bankruptcy proceedings. That only applies to the property solely in your name.

Both spouses can get the automatic stay

The benefit of bankruptcy for one spouse is that the automatic stay applies to the other spouse as well. Creditors cannot take steps to collect debts from your spouse when you have filed for bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy, creditors cannot try to obtain property that both spouses own together. As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks when one spouse files bankruptcy separately. You should analyze your own specific situation to see whether a solo or joint filing makes the most sense for you.

The first step toward a fresh start from the debt that has overtaken your life may be to call a bankruptcy law attorney. The attorney may explain to you how bankruptcy law works, and you can explore together whether filing for bankruptcy might help you out of your predicament. One thing that you should not focus on is the stigma of bankruptcy; you should not let it keep you from doing what you can to get more financial breathing room.