If you are married and considering filing bankruptcy in southern California contact us today. We assist bankruptcy clients in the following counties:

  • Los Angeles County
  • San Fernando Valley
  • Orange County
  • San Bernardino County
  • Riverside County
  • Ventura County
  • Santa Barbara County

Will Bankruptcy Affect my Husband or Wife in California?

Married couples that are considering filing for bankruptcy have the option of doing so either jointly or individually. The fact that you’re married doesn’t mean that you’re forced to file for bankruptcy together. Which method of bankruptcy filing is best will depend on the amount of property you own together, and if you have joint debts.

Filing individually has some benefits that may help you in your current position. In the event that only one spouse has debt, he or she can file for bankruptcy individually in order to discharge personal  obligations. A single individual that files for bankruptcy will allow him or her wipe out their debt without harming the other person’s credit.

The down side of filing individually is that it’s only advantageous if only on spouse has debt. If there is any joint debt, an individual filing will not protect the other spouse from creditors. It’s also more expensive for a married couple to both file individually, rather than jointly, in the event that they both have debts they are unable to pay.

If both partners have debt, bankruptcy law also allows for married couples to file jointly, rather than independently. One of the advantages to this approach is that the court costs for one person filing for bankruptcy is the same as two people filing together. This saves the costs of the second spouse filing on their own. It will also likely save money when it comes to attorney’s fees, as well, as one case is going to be less complicated and less work than two individual cases

Additionally, a joint bankruptcy allows for more convenience and efficiency,  as a married couple only needs to complete only one petition, can attend the required hearings together, and can discharge all of their debts through one single bankruptcy.