Bankruptcy is a complex process that affects many aspects of a filer’s life. If you’re struggling with debts beyond what you can manage, you may be wondering how bankruptcy could help you and the rest of your family.
If you’re concerned that bankruptcy may negatively impact your spouse, or if you’re just wondering how the process would work for you, you can speak to a Brownsville bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of Phillippe & Associates and read on to learn more.
Consider Your Assets
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, the biggest concern on your mind is probably your debts. However, your assets are equally–if not more–important to consider. The same is true if you’re thinking about filing as a married individual. When filing for bankruptcy, most notably Chapter 7, your assets may be liquidated to pay your debts.
If you file bankruptcy and the property where you and your spouse live is in your name, then it may be affected by the bankruptcy proceeding. On the other hand, if you file but the property is in your spouse’s name, it won’t be included in your bankruptcy estate.
Consider Filing Jointly
Filing jointly means both spouses are seeking bankruptcy protection under the names of both filers. This process can help couples save money by allowing them to only pay one filing fee or set of fees. Remember: in this case, your assets and those of your spouse could be subject to liquidation.
One big benefit of filing bankruptcy is the automatic stay put in place at the time of filing. While your solo-bankruptcy may not directly affect your spouse’s finances, it’s likely to affect them emotionally. An automatic stay on both of your debts can go a long way towards helping to relieve some of that stress.
Your Debts, Your Responsibility
The biggest thing to remember when filing bankruptcy as a married person is that your debts are ultimately your responsibility. If you have joint debts with your spouse, then those debts may become your spouse’s responsibility if you file for bankruptcy.
To decide if you should file individually or with your spouse, consider which debts are actually causing your issues. Determine who’s name those debts are in, and if only the most heavily indebted of the two of you should file. If you both have significant debt, a joint filing may be your best option.
How Bankruptcy May Affect Your Spouse
Put simply, when you file for bankruptcy, only your debts will be discharged if you succeed. If you have shared debts, those debts will become the responsibility of the non-filing spouse. However, bankruptcy will also only affect the credit score of the filer, not their spouse. You may wish to keep this in mind when considering filing jointly.
Phillippe and Associates: Your Brownsville Bankruptcy Attorneys
When we get married, our finances usually only become more complex. As such, the process of filing bankruptcy as a married person can also be complex and difficult to navigate.
For help deciding what type of bankruptcy filing would best serve you and your loved ones, you may wish to consult with a Brownsville bankruptcy attorney like those at the Law Offices of Phillippe & Associates. We are dedicated to helping our clients find financial freedom and a brighter financial future.