The decision to file for bankruptcy may be one of the most important life decisions that you and your spouse will make.  Many married couples seeking to file for bankruptcy are unsure whether or not filing jointly will be in both spouse’s best interests.  As is the case with filing tax returns, there may be a reason to file for bankruptcy as an individual as opposed to jointly with your spouse.  The decision to file for bankruptcy as an individual versus filing for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse is one that should be made with the assistance of a Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney who can ensure that you understand your options and what the consequences will be of choosing each option.

What Are the Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy Jointly?

Filing for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse can make the bankruptcy process run much smoother than it may otherwise if each spouse files his or her own individual bankruptcy petition.  By filing a joint bankruptcy petition, whether the petition is for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will only be subject to one filing fee as opposed to two fees if individual bankruptcy petitions are filed.  Further, filing for bankruptcy jointly allows both spouses to eliminate all of their dischargeable joint debt as well as any individual debt.  Most married couples have both joint debts and individual debts, so the option to file for bankruptcy jointly is very attractive when nearly all debts can be eliminated through one joint bankruptcy process.

What are the Drawbacks of Filing for Bankruptcy Jointly?

Depending on your individual financial circumstances, there could be viable reasons for choosing to avoid a joint bankruptcy petition.  For example, if one spouse owns a significant amount of property, and not all of that property can be exempt from bankruptcy, that property may be used to help eliminate some of your debt.  If the spouse without a significant amount of property decides to file an individual bankruptcy, then the other spouse’s individual property will not be considered as part of the bankruptcy.  Further, if one spouse has too many priority debts, such as unpaid taxes and child or spousal support obligations, then it may be more beneficial to file for bankruptcy individually rather than jointly.

Overall, filing for bankruptcy jointly seems to have more positives than negatives for most married couples seeking to eliminate their debt.  However, because each couple’s financial situation will be different, there may be other options available to you and your spouse for eliminating your debt.  To find out whether or not bankruptcy or some other debt-elimination option is right for you, you will need to consult with a skilled Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney.

Contact Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney Douglas Breyfogle to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you and your spouse are considering bankruptcy as an option to tackle your debt head on, you should be aware of each and every option available to you for eliminating your debt.  There are a number of different ways in which you and your spouse can eliminate and/or manage your debt.  To fully understand your options, and what the benefits are of each of those options, you should consider speaking with a qualified Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney.  Douglas Breyfogle is a Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney with more than twenty years of experience helping his clients overcome mountains of debt in the most feasible way possible.  Because no two clients have the exact same financial circumstances, it is important to have an individualized plan of action to move forward debt free.  If you and your spouse would like to discuss your options with a dedicated and skilled Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorney, contact Douglas Breyfogle today to schedule your free confidential consultation by calling (913) 742-8700.