Getting married while in Chapter 13 bankruptcy may impact your case, but that depends on a few factors. Let’s take a look at how getting married could affect your Chapter 13 bankruptcy for the better or worse.
Whether or not your spouse is working, you must report to your attorney and bankruptcy trustee that the number of people living in your household has changed. If your spouse is working, you will need to report his/her income to the bankruptcy court. This additional income may increase your monthly repayment amount.
Before the bankruptcy court can determine if your marriage will impact your case, the trustee will need to look at all the new expenses associated with getting married. For example, you may have moved into a new apartment because your new spouse comes with a few kids—in that case the new expenses created might actually make your monthly repayment amount decrease. The exact impact is determined by both new household income and expenses.
Most debtors are concerned about their Chapter 13 bankruptcy payments increasing after they get married, but it’s possible that you can get your payments decreased. For example, if you married someone who is unemployed or if they have children who are now living with you, it’s only natural that your expenses will increase. In that case, you can work with your bankruptcy attorney to get your Chapter 13 bankruptcy payments reduced.
If you’re planning to get married, notify your bankruptcy attorney so you can figure out how the marriage will impact your case.