When you get married, you not only combine your income, but you also combine your bills. This means that you take on whatever debts your spouse may have had before you were married, and likewise, your spouse takes on yours. It also means that payments based on income may change when you add your spouse’s income to your own.
In the end, these increased payments can escalate to a financial level you and your spouse may not be prepared to handle. Use these bankruptcy tips for spouses to determine how you can best manage your debts as a couple.
Do Not File Bankruptcy Separately
You can file as separate individuals when you file bankruptcy; however, this means that only one person’s name is off the debt. Debts that you hold jointly may then transfer to just one person. If you file and your bankruptcy is discharged, the lender may still go after the spouse that did not file.
Instead, it is a better idea to combine the debts that you hold and file simultaneously. Filing together will also allow you to save money on the cost of the bankruptcy filing process since you are filing together instead of effectively having to file twice. Click here for more information about Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Be Open with Each Other About Debts
It’s recommended that you go into marriage completely honest and without any secrets, financial or otherwise. Some financial choices might be a bit embarrassing, but you really should share information about your debts and assets with each other before getting married. Major financial difficulties coming to light once you are married is not the best way to begin a marriage.
You should discuss your obligations and form a plan together so that you can decide what you are able to manage and whether bankruptcy is something you need to consider. Holding back and hiding financial difficulty may seem like a solution at first, but these details always come out into the open eventually.
File Bankruptcy Before You Marry
If you are still planning your wedding and are not yet married, another option is to consider whether you should file bankruptcy as a single person before being married. Otherwise, you may bring more debt into the marriage than you can handle together.
If this is the case, it may be best to file now and have the bankruptcy discharged before you get married. Doing so will allow the bankruptcy to only affect your debt and assets and not those of your future spouse’s.
Many decisions regarding bankruptcy and marriage will be dependent on both you and your spouse’s specific financial details. Make sure you consult our office first so we can help you figure out which path might be the best for you both.
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