Joint bankruptcy: Is It possible for married couples?
If your financial situation is still an issue due to medical bills, job loss, or consumer debts, then you may consider legal alternatives to get help. One of the options available is bankruptcy for married couples, but you must be careful when considering it.
You have to decide if you both need bankruptcy protection only after determining if you qualify for Chapter 7 (if your debts are discharged) or Chapter 13 (if you have a repayment plan).
Since this is a serious decision, you should seek experienced legal guidance. A Gilbert bankruptcy lawyer can explain your bankruptcy options so that you can stop creditors from calling.
Can Bankruptcy be filed mutually by married couples?
Married couples can file for bankruptcy together or individually. Couples that file together usually have joint debts, and they also have the legal preparation to do this process. However, spouses can file by themselves as well if they prefer.
This option can be beneficial depending on the financial situation of each spouse. If one partner has assets separate from a partner that needs debt relief, it may be best to file for individual bankruptcy.
You have to discuss whether you should file jointly or individually with a Gilbert bankruptcy attorney. It may seem like a smart move to file your bankruptcy to save money by using generic forms from the Internet. But, keep in mind that the court may dismiss your case if you get some information wrong. You can also be in trouble if you file as an individual and the court decides you acted in bad faith.
If you’re married and decide to file for bankruptcy independently, the court will look at the total household income. The court will also check the expenses to be sure you’ve filed properly.
In some cases, both are responsible for the case because of the total spent, even if only one spouse has run up the debt.
As you can see, this situation can be tricky and complicated, which is why it is always better to reach out to a Gilbert bankruptcy lawyer to discuss the complete financial picture with a professional perspective. You shouldn’t try to do any legal process alone, especially when filing for bankruptcy.
What are the differences between Filing Separately & Filing Jointly?
There are some notorious differences in both cases. Analyze them carefully before deciding what to do.
These are the reasons why you may consider filing for bankruptcy independently:
- Your spouse filed for bankruptcy in the last years (past 8 years) and cannot file for another one.
- You have a higher debt that’s not part of marital debt.
- If the debts aren’t marital and you didn’t co-sign with your spouse, the non-filing spouse’s credit record can be safe.
- Your partner has assets that shouldn’t be sold to pay the debts.
These are the reasons why you might want to file for bankruptcy jointly:
- You and your spouse receive a full set of exemptions under bankruptcy statutes.
- You also get co-signed loans, meaning that your bankruptcy won’t liberate your spouse’s obligations on co-signed loans.
- Most of your debt is marital and both parts need debt relief and also a fresh start for your finances (this is known as ‘marital debt’).
There are many reasons why couples want to file bankruptcy individually or jointly. Just remember that your spouse’s income matters even if he or she does not file with you. Income is always important in bankruptcy, and it determines which type of bankruptcy a person qualifies for.
contact a Gilbert bankruptcy attorney If you’re married & want to file for bankruptcy
Are you looking for a fresh start but don’t know if you should file for bankruptcy with your spouse? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you! Our Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers understand that financial problems can take a huge toll on your mental health, and we know that you want to stop debt collector harassment. Our qualified bankruptcy lawyers can help you with your situation, and decide which kind of bankruptcy is best for you.