Do Both Spouses Have to File for Bankruptcy?
This question comes up a lot when I meet with married couples who are going through issues with debts and considering bankruptcy to resolve those issues. The quick answer is maybe. It will depend on whether or not each spouse has debts in common. For example if you are both on the mortgage and note for your house and you are behind and you want to keep your house, it is best for both spouses to file together. There may be some strategic reasons for not filing together but that is something that needs to be analyzed and decided on a case by case basis. There are many scenarios where only one spouse needs to file for bankruptcy and the other does not. However, it is important to remember for the purposes of the means test, that the non-filing spouse’s income and expenses will be taken into consideration for qualifying for bankruptcy.
The question of whether to file a joint bankruptcy or to file an individual bankruptcy can be a complex one that requires some detailed analysis by you and your bankruptcy attorney to make sure that you make the best decision for your specific situation. It is important that when you meet with any bankruptcy attorney that you take the time before the meeting to gather any documentation you have on your debts, credit card statements, mortgage documents, your credit report, etc. so that you know exactly what debts you have, whose name they are in. This will help you to ask the right questions during your consultation, so as to limit surprises once you start the bankruptcy process. Remember Bankruptcy is a team effort between you and your bankruptcy attorney.
Are you considering filing for bankruptcy?
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it is important that you speak with a bankruptcy attorney who can help you evaluate your potential homestead exemption and issues that may impact your exemption status in bankruptcy. Every bankruptcy case is different, so what has worked for one debtor may not necessarily work for another. If you are in Miami-Dade County or Broward County, Florida, please feel free to contact us to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your specific situation.
This blog post is made available for educational and informational purposes only and to promote a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship. Reading this post is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice based on the unique facts of your situation from an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. No representation is made regarding the current state of the information contained in this post. Examples that may be provided in this post are merely for illustrative purposes; the results in your case may be different and no results are guaranteed.