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Do both spouses have to file for bankruptcy?


No, both spouses do not have to file for bankruptcy. A person can file individually or joint with his or her spouse. If most substantial debts are only owned by one spouse, then it may be better to file individually without the other spouse. Or if a debtor is filing in a community property state, such as California, and all substantial debts are community debts, it may not be necessary to have both spouses file. However, if both spouses are liable for a debt and only one spouse files for bankruptcy, the creditor can still attempt to collect the debt from the non-filing spouse. If both spouses file jointly, only one petition has to be filed and only one filing fee is charged.