Married couples can choose to file for bankruptcy individually or jointly. At Groce & DeArmon, we’ve filed many individual and joint bankruptcy cases in southwest Missouri. If you’re considering your options, what’s best for you will depend on the amount of property you own, the exemption laws of your state, and whether you have joint debts. Here is a brief overview of whether to file for bankruptcy individually or jointly with your spouse.
Individual Bankruptcy Filing
If you’re married, you don’t have to file for bankruptcy with your spouse. If only one spouse has debt, it may be in your best interest to file for bankruptcy individually. An individual filing lets one spouse discharge his or her debts without harming the other spouse’s credit.
Some states don’t allow you to double your bankruptcy exemptions in a joint filing. If this is true for your state, you may benefit from filing two individual bankruptcies to protect more of your property. Missouri is not a community property state. To learn more about how this affects your bankruptcy filing, contact our experienced lawyers.
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Joint Bankruptcy Filing
Under bankruptcy law, married couples can file a joint bankruptcy petition together. Joint bankruptcy is often a convenient and cost-effective option for married couples. You can complete only one petition, attend bankruptcy hearings together, and eliminate your debts through a single bankruptcy. Many times, it’s more efficient than it would be to file two individual cases.
Generally, filing for bankruptcy with your spouse is a good idea if you have many joint debts. Also, the state of Missouri allows you to double your bankruptcy exemptions in a shared filing. The only exception to this is the homestead exemption, which can’t be doubled if only one spouse owns the property.
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Talk to Our Bankruptcy Lawyers
Whether you decide to file jointly or individually, bankruptcy can help you resolve financial hardships and get moving in the right direction. However, before you proceed, you should review your case with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Groce & DeArmon, P.C. is ready to answer your questions and walk you through each step of the process. Contact our bankruptcy lawyers today for a free consultation.