Should You File Bankruptcy With Your Spouse?

Many Georgians are facing tough economic times and are looking to bankruptcy as a solution to eliminating overwhelming debt. When considering bankruptcy, you may wonder whether you should file bankruptcy with or without your spouse. The answer relies greatly in your specific financial circumstances, so you and your spouse shoiuld consult a Georgia bankruptcy lawyer in order to determine if you should file jointly or separately or maybe not at all.

On one hand, you may wish to get rid of your joint debt all at one time. On the other hand, you may wish to keep one spouse’s credit rating intact. If one spouse is liable on most of the debt, then it may be a good idea to file bankruptcy separately for that one spouse. If this is the case, the spouse who is filing bankruptcy is still required to disclose the non-filing spouse’s income by submitting paystubs to the bankruptcy trustee.

However, no other information about the non-filing spouse is included in the bankruptcy petition, and the non-filing spouse’s credit report will not show that s/he filed bankruptcy. Further, any assets belonging to the non-filing spouse are protected, so long as the assets have always been titled in the non-filing spouse’s name. If the majority of the debt is joint between both spouses, you will want to file jointly because if only one spouse files bankruptcy, then the non-filing spouse will remain liable on all joint debt. Further, a joint filing will save you money on filing fees.

In Georgia, the Chapter 7 and 13 filing fees are the same for joint filers as they are for individual filers. If you and your spouse are considering bankruptcy and need help deciding whether to file individually or jointly, call Law Offices of Charles Clapp at 404.585.0040 or e-mail to schedule a free consultation.


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