Both spouses DO NOT have to file bankruptcy. If only one files, the non-filing spouse will be fully liable for all debts that are in both names (or in his/her name alone). If most of the debt are in both names, it may make sense for you to file together. Also, a joint filing allows for double the exemption amount allowed for assets.  On the other hand, if all or most of the debt is entirely in one person’s name, then there may be no need for both to file. The court fees for filing are the same for individual or joint petitions.