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Seeking debt relief when married -- is together better?

As a married person, deciding to file for bankruptcy is a move that affects both you and your spouse. Aside from deciding whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is most appropriate, you must also figure out whether filing jointly or separately is a good idea. Answering these questions can be hard, but it is important to do so when seeking debt relief.

Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will be largely up to your income and how it compares to Florida's average. However, you can file separately or jointly in either filing type. Depending on your situation, you might be considering any of the following:

  • Filing jointly as a couple
  • Filing separately
  • Filing by yourself

If you file jointly, you will only have to pay the fee for your court filing once. If both you and your spouse make separate filings, you will have to shell out twice for that court fee. Filing jointly also allows you to better address joint debts such as auto loans or credit card debt that has both of your names. If you file by yourself and your spouse does not also seek bankruptcy, then creditors can still come after him or her when seeking repayment. Filing by yourself will not necessarily qualify you for Chapter 7 either since your spouse's income will still be counted towards your household income.

Pursuing a joint bankruptcy has many benefits for most Florida couples. However, everyone's situation is different, and what works for one family might not be best for yours. We work hard to fully understand our clients' unique situations and hurdles to provide the best possible guidance in regards to debt relief. Still not sure if filing jointly is best for you? You can find more information here.

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Paul Urich
Orlando Office

Law Office of Paul L. Urich, P.A.
1510 East Colonial Drive
Suite 204
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: 407-982-3763
Fax: 407-896-3041

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