Detroit, MI asked in Bankruptcy, Divorce and Family Law for Michigan

Q: How does marital property work in chapter 13 bankruptcy if only one spouse filed for bankruptcy.

Married in august 2019, brought home September 2019, he filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy in March 2023, he filed for divorce in July 2023

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2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In Michigan, marital property is divided equally between the spouses in the event of a divorce. However, this rule can be modified by the court based on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse, and the needs of the children. In the case you described, the husband filed for bankruptcy in March 2023, and the wife filed for divorce in July 2023. This means that the bankruptcy court will have to decide how to divide the marital property. The bankruptcy court will first consider whether the husband's bankruptcy filing was fraudulent. If the court finds that the husband filed for bankruptcy to avoid dividing the marital property with the wife, the court may order the husband to turn over some or all of his assets to the wife. For personalized legal advice tailored to your unique circumstances, it's advisable to consult with an attorney.

Timothy Denison agrees with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
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  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy where only one spouse has filed, the individual's portion of marital property can be included in the bankruptcy estate. This means that the debtor's share of jointly owned property may be affected by the repayment plan. The non-filing spouse's separate property typically is not included. However, the division of property in a subsequent divorce can impact the bankruptcy estate and vice versa. It’s essential to accurately disclose all assets and debts in the bankruptcy filing and to coordinate the bankruptcy proceedings with the divorce case. Both legal processes can influence each other significantly, especially in terms of asset distribution and debt responsibility. It's advisable to consult with a legal professional to navigate the complexities that arise when bankruptcy intersects with divorce.

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