In the UK, unlike in, for example Poland, there is no default marital property regime for spouses or partners. Each individual is responsible for their own finances and debts. Therefore, a bankruptcy declaration by, for example, a husband will not affect the finances of the wife in any way. The husband’s bankruptcy will also have no impact on the wife’s credit history and credit rating. However, this works both ways. If spouses have joint debts, such as a jointly owed council account or a jointly taken loan, then the bankruptcy declaration by only one spouse will not release the other from the debt. The other spouse will have to repay the entire debt. In such a case, the only solution is to declare separate bankruptcies by each of them. Unfortunately, this entails double costs.

The bankruptcy of a spouse may impact the family’s finances if the family’s income and expenses are jointly included in the bankruptcy application. In such a case, there may be a surplus of income over expenses, and the trustee may apply an Income Payment Agreement (IPA).

Fortunately, the regulations do not impose such an obligation on the bankrupt individual. In their bankruptcy application, one can declare only their own income and their own expenses. Before preparing a bankruptcy application, it is advisable to calculate and determine which approach is more beneficial for the family.