Should You File a Joint Bankruptcy With Your Spouse?
Opting for bankruptcy provides relief from overwhelming debt and can be an effective way to get back on track with your finances. If you’re considering a joint bankruptcy with your husband or wife, there are certain details you should consider to be able to make an informed decision about what’s best for you. Keep reading to learn more about it before you search for La Mesa’s best bankruptcy lawyer to handle your case.
Is filing for bankruptcy with your spouse a good idea?
Joint bankruptcy filings are generally a good option to help spouses solve their financial issues. You’ll be able to share the burden of your debt and make it easier to get back on your feet, which are only some of the benefits of joint bankruptcy filings.
Before you take any steps, here’s what you should consider:
The property you own
One of the factors affecting your decision is your property. In California, property acquired during a marriage is considered community property, so it typically belongs to both spouses. This applies to income and debt as well. Whether a couple files jointly or individually, any community property will be part of the bankruptcy estate.
California exemption laws
Many couples choose to file jointly to double the exemption amount. However, in California, you don’t have this option. All property claimed as exempt should be within the exemption amount specified in the California Code of Civil Procedure.
Which debts you want to eliminate
When considering joint bankruptcy as with any other, getting rid of debt is a priority. Filing jointly enables both partners to eliminate all of their dischargeable debts. However, if only one spouse files, the other is still responsible for their individual debts.
If you and your partner share most of your debt, filing a joint bankruptcy is usually the better choice. On the other hand, if your spouse has a lot of individual debts but you have few or none, it might be best for them to file alone. You still retain the option of filing for bankruptcy in the future if necessary. Talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney to find out which is best for you.
Your spouse’s and your credit score
If you decide to jointly file for bankruptcy, it’ll affect both your credit scores. If you have good credit and your spouse needs to file primarily for their own debt, it may be better to file on their own. In any case, while bankruptcy can decrease your credit score in the short term, you’ll be able to improve it fairly quickly, and most importantly, you won’t have to worry about being in debt.
Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney
When it comes to a joint bankruptcy in a community property state like California and generally, it’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer beforehand. This way, you’ll be able to ask any questions you may have, get the necessary information about bankruptcy, and choose the best option for your specific situation.
Where in La Mesa can you find a dependable bankruptcy lawyer?
When you’re trying to deal with debt and choose the best route, you can count on the team of seasoned bankruptcy lawyers at Chang & Diamond. Our experts are at your disposal from the first consultation, throughout the process (filing, automatic stay, etc.), and long after.
Whether you live near Lake Murray, elsewhere in La Mesa, or beyond, reach out to us today and set up a free initial consultation, and we’ll take care of everything else.