If you are married and want to file for bankruptcy, you have the option of filing individually or filing jointly with your spouse. If you decide to file individually, you might be wondering if it would affect your spouse at all. The answer to this question really depends on the debts you have, and here are a few things you should understand about filing individually for bankruptcy if you are currently married.
Why people do this
While married couples have the choice of filing jointly or individually, spouses will often choose to file individually as a way of protecting their spouse. For example, if two people get married and one has an extremely heavy load of debt, this person might decide to file for bankruptcy to eliminate the debt, simply to prevent the debt from becoming the responsibility of his or her spouse. Protection is the number one reason married people file individually; however, there is one important thing to know before doing this.
The factor that affects the effects bankruptcy would have on your spouse
The one important thing to understand before you go through with filing individually is that any joint debts you own will not disappear from your spouse's record if you file alone. In other words, if you have a credit card debt in both of your names, you can file for bankruptcy alone, but the debt will not completely go away. Your bankruptcy case would cause you to no longer be responsible for this debt, as long as it qualifies for a discharge, but the creditor would still have the right to seek payment for it from your spouse. If the debt was only in your name, the creditor could not come after your spouse.
Why filing jointly might be a better option
Filing together is often the better option for couples, and this is primarily because couples usually have debts together. It is very rare for one spouse to have all the debts in just his or her name. Instead, couples often combine their debts. If you have joint debts and want relief from this, filing for bankruptcy on your own is probably not going to offer the relief you hoped for.
Filing for bankruptcy individually is a legal option you have when married, but it is not always the best option. To find out which option would be better for you, schedule a visit with a bankruptcy lawyer today,click here for more information.