Should a married couple file for bankruptcy together?
For some people, being married means doing everything together. Making a home, having children, filing taxes and discussing every minute detail in between might be the best way to go for these folks. Luckily, most people are much more realistic and understand that being married does not cause one to lose his or her personal autonomy. This should be kept in mind during good times and in bad. One of those bad times can be when filing for personal bankruptcy becomes necessary.
You can file for bankruptcy alone or jointly as a married couple. It is important to understand the pros and cons of each situation before filing a bankruptcy petition. While no one can substitute for a qualified lawyer, here are some of the issues involved.
Filing for bankruptcy as a couple will allow you discharge the debts of both parties. So, if the spouses have a lot of joint debt, this might be a good idea. But, if one spouse is carrying most of the debt him or herself, it might be more beneficial for that party to file alone.
In addition, if you or your spouse own property that is not exempt from bankruptcy (meaning it will be brought into the bankruptcy estate and possibly liquidated) it might be best to leave this person out of the filing so that you can keep this property as a couple. You should talk to your lawyer to determine if you are eligible for double exemptions, which allow a married couple to keep more of their property than standard exemptions in a jointly filed case.
It is also important to understand that bankruptcy affects your credit, so it might be better to have one party file in order to preserve the other spouses score. While it might be less costly and more convenient to file for bankruptcy as a couple, it could cost you in the long run.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy either alone or as a couple, you should speak to an experienced Beavercreek, Xenia and Jamestown, Ohio personal bankruptcy attorney today.