Married couples have the option to file bankruptcy together or individually. Particular circumstances will indicate whether it is in your best interest to file bankruptcy jointly or whether just one of you should file.
Sometimes it's best for only one spouse to file bankruptcy
Often, there are good reasons for one spouse to stay out of bankruptcy, for example, when one spouse has received a large inheritance, a spouse shares ownership of a family cabin, one of you is a partner in a small business, and you wish to leave it entirely out of the bankruptcy. Filing chapter 13 could put both the property and family relationships at risk.
In situations such as one of these scenarios, it may be best for that spouse not to file bankruptcy. You can make the choice to collaborate on paying off any debts of the non-filing spouse once the chapter 13 is complete.
When the non-filing spouse is a co-signer on a loan in the bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the best option when the spouse who is not going to file bankruptcy is a co-signer on debts held by the filing spouse. during the three-to-five-year period of debt repayment, bankruptcy protects a co-signer such as a non-filing spouse from collection efforts.
Therefore, for many couples, a better thing would be finding out how you can maximize the benefits of bankruptcy when one of you chooses not to file. A discussion with an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney is an excellent way to determine the answer to this question.
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