Limits by Family Size

Household size can be a very important issue to those hoping to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio or Kentucky when completing the bankruptcy means test. Depending on a debtor's current income level, the number of people in his or her family can determine whether there will be a presumption of abuse to such a filing.

The number of children or other people who live in homes for only part of the year can make it difficult to determine whether such individuals qualify as dependents. The United States Trustee Program (USTP) has established that "household size" is defined as the debtor, the debtor’s spouse, and any dependents that the debtor could claim under IRS dependency tests.

Bankruptcy Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH Discusses Limits by Family Size

If you have questions about who can be considered dependents on your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel. Steiden Law Offices represents clients in communities throughout Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio.

Our Cincinnati bankruptcy attorneys can identify all possible exemptions that you are entitled to and guide you through the filing process.

Call to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.

Northern Kentucky Limits by Family Size Information Center

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Limits by Family Size in Ohio and Kentucky

Median family incomes by family size for cases filed on or after May 1, 2017 are as follows, according to the United States Census Bureau:

Family Size



1 Earner



2 People



3 People



4 People



Debtors are allowed to add $8,400 for each individual in excess of four. For example, the median family incomes are as following for cases filed on or after May 1, 2017:

Family Size



5 People



6 People



7 People



8 People



9 People



10 People



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Qualifying Children and Relatives in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The IRS establishes that a debtor cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is the debtor's qualifying child or qualifying relative. Tests to be considered a qualifying child include:

  • The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them;
  • The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled;
  • The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year (exceptions exist for temporary absences, children who were born or died during the year, children of divorced or separated parents [or parents who live apart], and kidnapped children);
  • The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year; and
  • The child must not be filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid).

Tests to be considered a qualifying relative include:

  • The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer;
  • The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you, or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law);
  • The person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,050 (there is an exception if the person is disabled and has income from a sheltered workshop); and
  • You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year (there are exceptions for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents [or parents who live apart], and kidnapped children).

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Ohio Limits by Family Size Resources

Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information — IRS Publication 501 discusses some tax rules that affect every person who may have to file a federal income tax return and explains the IRS tests for dependents. Visit this website to view the exemptions, standard deduction, and filing information for use in preparing 2016 returns. The USTP uses the same IRS test for the definitions of both household and family.

Chapter 7 Line by Line means test analysis final | US Department of Justice — View the statement of the USTP’s position on legal issues arising under the Chapter 7 means test. You can read more about education expenses for dependent children under 18 and any amounts paid by another person or entity, on a regular basis, for the household expenses of the debtor or the debtor’s dependents, including child or spousal support. You can also find information about when the USTP departs form the IRS dependent test.

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Steiden Law Offices | Cincinnati Bankruptcy Attorney

Are you planning on filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio or Kentucky, but have concerns about how your income and the size of your household might impact your success? Contact Steiden Law Offices as soon as possible.

Our Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyers represent individuals in Kenton County and Boone County in Kentucky as well as Hamilton County in Ohio. You can have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation

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