The decision to file for bankruptcy often comes after several failed attempts to recover financial health. When filing for bankruptcy, many spouses assume they must file together, however, this is not mandatory.
If you are married, it is helpful to consider your bankruptcy options to ensure a favorable outcome for you and your spouse.
A joint filing is advisable if you and your spouse have considerable debt because you will need to pay only one filing fee, which can be substantial when your financial resources are shrinking. In addition, joint bankruptcy can eliminate each spouse’s dischargeable debt. Finally, when filing jointly, each spouse might be able to claim property exemptions, which may allow them to keep more of their physical assets.
It is also possible for only one spouse to file for bankruptcy. This option may be advisable when the spouse filing has separate dischargeable debt. Otherwise, non-filing spouses remain responsible for their separate and joint debt. Also, one spouse’s filing should not impact the other’s credit rating.
The thought of bankruptcy can be overwhelming and often accompanies feelings of failure. However, for most people, declaring bankruptcy involves an unpredictable debt, such as a steep bill accompanying a medical crisis or job loss. Fortunately, bankruptcy may allow you to restore your financial health.