There is no requirement that you and your spouse jointly file bankruptcy when married. You can choose whether to file for bankruptcy with your spouse or as an individual. The decision on filing bankruptcy when married should be based on the in depth analysis of you financial condition however. It will usually depend on if it is better for you to file alone or together.
In considering whether to do a joint bankruptcy when married will depend on your assets, your income, your property, whether you have joint debts or not, etc. For a lot of couples when you file bankruptcy jointly it will protect more of your property, but this isn’t always the case. There are pros and cons to filing separately and to filing jointly. In a joint bankruptcy with your spouse, you will need to list all of the property that you both own together and individually. Some of the benefits of filing for a joint bankruptcy when married with your spouse are that it is more efficient, it will get rid of your dischargeable debts, and the bankruptcy costs are going to be much lower. You’re going to save money on filing fees, the dischargeable debts will be erased and you and your spouse. You will also be able to attend all hearing and fill out all paperwork together which makes it more efficient for the both of you. Some of the disadvantages of filing for a joint bankruptcy include that if one spouse owns significantly more property than you then you might not be able to exempt all your property which in this case it might be more beneficial to file separately. If one spouse has more debt than the other then it might also be better to file separately.
Your bankruptcy attorney can help you decide what would be the best and the easiest for you and your spouse based on your financial situation. At the Law Office of Douglas Barrett, LLC we help couples all the time with bankruptcy in joint and separate bankruptcies. Call us if you are in Utah for a free consultation so we can help you and your spouse know what’s in your best interest.