In Ohio, it is not uncommon for one spouse to rack up massive debts without their partner’s knowledge. For a while, you may be able to make manageable payments, but after a while, it becomes evident you cannot pay back the debt on your own. As such, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy. Yet, you do not want your partner included in the bankruptcy, either to protect their assets, because you are ashamed or for some other reason. Legally, it is possible to file for bankruptcy without any involvement from your spouse.
This is not to say your spouse will not be impacted or will be ignorant to the bankruptcy. For one, filing for bankruptcy generally involves a variety of legal documents being sent to your home, and many attorney visits. As such, they will likely begin to suspect that something is wrong.
In addition, any jointly held assets could be affected. This is especially important when it comes to the house. If you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, for instance, your home could be liquidated to cover your debts. Your spouse will likely notice that they are being evicted. In addition, if you have a jointly-owned credit card, the filing spouse may be relieved from paying off the debt, but your partner will not. In fact, the creditors could press them even more to pay back the debt.
In the end, filing for bankruptcy without the input of your partner is legal, and the decision is up to you. It may be beneficial to speak with a bankruptcy attorney for further counsel on the matter.