Should Spouses Both File?

Individual Versus Joint Filing for Bankruptcy

Your wife or husband is not required to file for bankruptcy with you. There are scenarios in which it is advantageous to file together and there are situations in which only one spouse should file or spouses may file separate petitions.

These decisions should be made in close consultation with an attorney who understands the Bankruptcy Code and the strategies of filing for debt relief as an individual or filing jointly. Stamps & Stamps, Attorneys at Law, provides that focused experience in consumer bankruptcies in Ohio.

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Should Spouses Both File for Bankruptcy?

There are advantages and disadvantages to filing jointly for bankruptcy. If you file together, there is only one set of filing fees and attorney fees, and you both benefit from debt relief and creditor relief. On the other hand, if just one spouse files, it does not affect the other spouse's credit and there is a back-up option if you get into financial straits again in the near future.

Co-filing may make sense:

  • If you have mostly joint debts
  • If both of you have a significant amount of separate debts
  • If you are contemplating divorce or separation

Filing singly may make sense:

  • If one of you is not eligible for bankruptcy
  • If all or most of the debt is in one spouse's name
  • If you may need creditor protection again in the next few years

In some scenarios, it may make sense for one spouse to file for Chapter 7 discharge while the other spouse files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Dayton Family Bankruptcy Attorneys

Ultimately, these are fact-specific decisions that require a knowledgeable lawyer such as Eric Stamps who has handled many hundreds of bankruptcy cases. Mr. Stamps provides an exploratory, no-obligation consultation to address all your concerns about the big step of filing for bankruptcy.

Stamps & Stamps, Attorneys at Law offers a free initial consultation, serving the Dayton area and surrounding counties of Ohio. Call 937-410-0378 or 888-435-0085, or contact us online.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.