Do I have to file a joint petition if I’m married?
If you are currently married in the state of Florida, you may be wondering whether or not you and your spouse are obligated to file a joint bankruptcy petition. While most couples have incurred shared debt over the course of their marriage, it is not a legal requirement that both spouses file together.
The Benefits of Filing a Joint Bankruptcy Petition
Positive aspects of Joint Bankruptcy:
- Joint Bankruptcy Will Save You Time & Money – Whether you decide to file together or individually, the bankruptcy filing fees will be the same. This means that you could save time and money if you and your spouse file jointly. If you were to both file individually, each spouse would be expected to pay a separate filing fee. Additionally, you could save money on attorney’s fees if you file a single petition.
- Joint Bankruptcy Eliminates Both Parties’ Debt – Since both spouses would be responsible for repaying any shared debts that were incurred over the course of their marriage, it may be counteractive for one spouse to file individually. When all is said and done, the non-filing spouse would still be liable for his or her separate debts and their share of any joint debts that were not discharged during the bankruptcy.
- Joint Bankruptcy is More Efficient – As you may know, filing for bankruptcy is no simple matter. First, you must provide extensive financial documentation in your petition, and next, you will be required to attend at least one hearing with a bankruptcy trustee. For this reason, it may be more efficient for you and your spouse to file jointly—as you would only be required to do this once.
- Joint Bankruptcy Protects More of Your Property – In the state of Michigan, married couples that file a joint bankruptcy petition will be allowed to protect more of their property. For example, you and your spouse could each exempt up to $3,250 in motor vehicle equity. This means that you would be able to exempt this amount in one vehicle, while your spouse exempts the same amount in another.