When you are married, filing for bankruptcy can be a big decision. If you and your spouse have found yourselves facing a serious financial situation, bankruptcy may be the best way to get a fresh start and get you both headed toward a more secure financial future.
The primary decision you will have to make when filing for bankruptcy while married is whether you will file individually or jointly with your spouse. Deciding which of these two options is best for your situation depends on several different factors, and both options have pros and cons you will want to consider.
Atlanta Bankruptcy Joint Filing
Filing for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse can be a good option because it can save time and money. When you file for bankruptcy with your spouse, you will only provide one set of papers detailing your financial situation—listing all of your property, income, debts, and expenses together. Filing jointly can save you money on legal and filing fees and can simply be more convenient due to the fact you can go through the process together. You can also increase exemption amounts for jointly held property when you file together.
However, filing together may not always be the best option. In situations where one spouse owns significant property (above what would be exempt in Georgia) or one spouse has significant non-dischargeable debts (such as child support) filing separately may be the better choice.
Atlanta Bankruptcy Individual Filing
As previously mentioned, filing individually, or separately, from your spouse can be the better choice in certain circumstances. For example, filing separately may be the best option if:
- your spouse has previously filed for bankruptcy within the past 6-8 years and cannot refile yet,
- Your combined income is too high and therefore you don’t pass the means test,
- You want to wipe out your debts without harming the credit of your spouse.
These are just a few reasons why filing individually could be beneficial. Still, it is important to examine your specific circumstances to determine which is the best option for you and your spouse.
Get Legal Help with Your Georgia Bankruptcy
If you and your spouse are thinking about filing a Georgia bankruptcy, it is helpful to get advice and guidance about whether filing jointly or individually is best for your financial circumstances. To get answers about the best option in your case, contact the experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorneys at The Ballard Law Group. We are here to help you and your spouse navigate bankruptcy and decide which option will enable you to obtain the best results possible. We offer a free bankruptcy consultation to evaluate your situation and help you both understand how bankruptcy rules may impact you and how to use them to your advantage. Contact us today by calling (404) 800-9939!