How Does Your Bankruptcy Affect Your Spouse?
Getting married means combining many aspects of your life with another person. In addition to combining your assets, marriage can also mean sharing debt obligations. Unfortunately, financial problems don’t cease with marriage which can lead to the consideration of filing for bankruptcy. Approximately 64 percent of borrowers who file for bankruptcy do so while married. Anyone who has found themselves in a financially strapped position knows that the decision to file for bankruptcy protection is a difficult one and arrived at only after careful consideration of all the options. There has to be extra consideration any time the person in debt has a spouse – this is especially true when one spouse has a good credit rating that both people in the couple would like to maintain.
Do I Have to File for Bankruptcy With My Spouse if I am Married?
A common misconception is that spouses have to pursue bankruptcy jointly when they are married. The reality is that you simply don’t have to and there are many circumstances in which it is better for one spouse to file on their own. Relevant questions for spouses who are trying to figure out whether to file for bankruptcy jointly can include:
- How much debt the spouses have;
- Whose name the debt is in; and
- What property is owned by the spouses.
How Your Bankruptcy Affects Your Spouse
Assuming you file for bankruptcy without your spouse, the good news is that your debts will be discharged and you will no longer be held personally liable for those debts as an individual. On the other hand, you should also be aware that your spouse won’t receive the same protections you are granted when you file. Because your spouse didn’t also file for bankruptcy, collection actions against him or her can still be initiated by creditors who your spouse has obligations to or for any joint debts you have together.
It can be difficult to determine whether to file for bankruptcy on your own or with your spouse when you are married and find yourself financially unstable due to mounting debt. It is imperative that you speak with a legal team that understands the finer points of bankruptcy law and how you can help avoid putting yourself and your spouse at even greater risk.
Bankruptcy Assistance from Knowledgeable Professionals
When preparing to make bankruptcy-related decisions about your financial future that will affect you and your spouse, you will need a lawyer with significant experience helping borrowers navigate through Florida’s bankruptcy system. As the Plantation bankruptcy attorneys at Nowack & Olson, PLLC, you can depend on us for legal advice and to ask the necessary questions to help you determine the best options for you and your family. We have more than four decades of combined experience helping borrowers figure out financial solutions that are best for not only them but for their loved ones and we can help you find your ideal situation. If you are married and considering a bankruptcy filing, contact us today for a free evaluation of your financial situation.