There are a lot of decisions you need to make if you are married and wish to file for bankruptcy. One of these is whether to make individual filling or submit a joint one with your spouse. Here are four situations in which it pays to make independent fillings:
1. You Have Excellent Credit
Even though many people's credits usually bounce back after bankruptcy, there is no denying that bankruptcy does have a big effect on credit rating. Therefore, if you have an excellent credit rating and your spouse's isn't that good, then it might be a good idea let him or her submit an individual filing.
That will allow you to keep your excellent rating. This is especially the case if your need for the discharge was triggered by your spouse's debts.
2. You Have Lots of Individual Debts
How are your debts distributed? Do you have lots of individual debts or joint ones? If you don't live in a community state, then you should file for individual bankruptcy if one of you has lots of individual debts.
For example, if you are the one with considerable individual debts, then filing alone will help you to wipe your debts. That allows your spouse to keep his or her prerogative of filing for bankruptcy, and can do so if a need arises in the future.
3. Your Community Doesn't Allow Exemption Doubling
There are states that allow both of you to keep your exempted assets when you file for joint bankruptcy. This effectively allows you to double your exceptions. However, there are also states that have no such provisions. If your state is in this latter category, then it may make more sense to opt for individual filings. This is even more beneficial if the non-filing spouse has lots of non-exempt properties that you would lose in case of a joint filing.
4. You Own Your Home Together as Tenants by the Entirety
Owning a property together as tenants by the entirety means that each of you have a claim to the whole property. It means that you both own the house as a single legal entity; as opposed to each of you owning only half of it. If this is the case with your marital home, then there are states that allow you to exclude the property when your assets are used to settle your debts. The only condition is that you have to make separate fillings.
Don't forget that a bankruptcy discharge is a serious matter that will have far reaching effects on your lives; for example, it will affect your credit rating. Considering the weight of the issue, don't you think it wouldn't be wise to make a move without consulting a bankruptcy attorney? To learn more, contact a company like the Law Offices Of Doonan & Doonan Inc.