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Many of our clients are married couples who incurred large amount of joint debts together over the course of their marriage. However, not all of them end up filing bankruptcy jointly. Indeed, you are allowed to file a bankruptcy petition individually, without involving your spouse. The advantages of doing so may include:

1) An individual filing may help to avoid a credit score impact on your non-filing spouse.

2) Arizona is one of the nine states adopting community property laws. Therefore, once you are successfully granted a discharge in bankruptcy, it will not just apply to your individual debts, but also the community debts incurred by both of you during the course of marriage.

3) Further, in Arizona, the bankruptcy estate would include not only your separate property, but also the community property (properties owned by both you and your non-filing spouse). Hence, once you file the bankruptcy petition, the Bankruptcy Automatic Stay Protection under 11 U.S.C. 362 would apply to stop debt collectors from collecting debts against the community property, even though your spouse has not done anything under the Bankruptcy Code.

4) The non-filing spouse’s separate properties should not be treated as part of the estate so, absent any other considerations such as a fraudulent transfer, the Bankruptcy Trustee cannot reach those properties for bankruptcy distribution purposes.

Note: For readers of this article, who are now living in or used to live in other U.S. states which adopt common law property laws (i.e. equitable distribution property laws), be aware that the laws will vary and so you should consult an attorney in your area.

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If you are located in Phoenix or the surrounding area,
Contact Wright Law Offices online or call 480-845-0145 to set up a free consultation. This article is not meant to be a substitute for legal advice from an attorney as every person’s situation is unique. It is important that you hire an attorney to help you avoid the many pitfalls that can occur in a bankruptcy.

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Our Locations

  • Phoenix Office – New
    Wright Law Offices 
    2999 N. 44th St., Ste 600
    Phoenix AZ 85018 

    Telephone: 602-456-6085 / 866-703-3287
    Phoenix Law Office
  • Phoenix Office – Old
    Wright Law Offices 
    668 N. 44th St., Ste 320
    Phoenix AZ 85008 

    Telephone: 602-456-6085 / 866-703-3287
    Phoenix Law Office
  • Scottsdale Office 
    Wright Law Offices 
    7135 East Camelback Road, Ste 230
    Scottsdale AZ 85251 

    Telephone: 480-845-0145 / 866-703-3287
    Scottsdale Law Office

  • Tempe Office 
    Wright Law Offices 
    2238 S. McClintock Dr.
    Tempe AZ 85258 

    Telephone: 480-845-0145 / 866-703-3287
    Tempe Law Office

  • Avondale Office
    Wright Law Offices 
    12725 W Indian School Rd, Suite E-101
    Avondale AZ 85392 

    Telephone: 623-258-4480 / 866-703-3287
    Avondale Law Office

  • Mesa Office
    Wright Law Offices 

    4856 E. Baseline Rd.
    Suite #104
    Mesa, AZ 85206
    Telephone: 480-845-0145 / 866-703-3287
    Mesa Law Office

  • Glendale Office 
    Wright Law Offices 
    20325 N. 51st Ave., Suite 134
    Glendale, AZ 85308
    Telephone: 623-258-4480 / 866-703-3287
    Glendale Law Office

What our clients are saying…

TOP Rated PHOENIX BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

Mr. Wright and his staff were amazing. They made a negative situation a lot better and turned it into a positive. Could really tell they care helping people and I will refer their Phoenix Bankruptcy Attorney firm to friends and family. Thanks again.

Tara
TOP Rated PHOENIX BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

I called around looking for the right bankruptcy lawyer and came across Benjamin Wright. He personally called me for the consultation seeing how I live in Kingman AZ. He was very helpful from the start and his staff was very friendly and explained any questions I had, sorry for all the questions. I would definitely recommend Wright law offices, and I do!! Thanks for everything, you made what seemed like a hard thing to do simple!! You guys rock!!!

Steffanie
TOP Rated PHOENIX BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

Great lawyer, he really helped my mother out of a jam. She was totally new to bankruptcy and he talked with us for about an hour and a half to make sure she wouldn’t be worried.

Damian
TOP Rated PHOENIX BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

Ben is a kind and down to earth attorney. He worked around my busy schedule as a single mom (school, full-time job, and daycare pick up and drop off times). He explained absolutely everything to me and was good about e-mailing. I am writing this review as a THANK YOU.

Shannon
TOP Rated PHOENIX BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

I had a very positive experience with Attorney Wright. He or his staff returned my e-mails and calls promptly (even after business hours occasionally). His fees were reasonable. He was patient with me when I showed up in court missing an important document. He is aggressive, but fair and nice.

Jenna