J is for Joint Filing

Is Joint Bankruptcy Filing For Us?

Couples often ask me if they should file separate bankruptcy petitions. “We have our own debts and don’t think we should file together,“ they say.

California is a community property state

Those debts the couples think are separate usually are not. Unless the debt was incurred prior to the marriage it is a community debt even if it is only in one name. In addition, if there is not enough separate property to pay separate debts the community assets can be reached by creditors.

Filing Jointly

If both spouses need the protection of the bankruptcy court it is usually easier, more efficient and more economical to file jointly. A joint filing will only require one filing fee. Separate filings will require two filings fees, one for each party. All community and separate assets and liabilities are listed whether filing jointly or separately. If the couple files separately, they need to list everything anyway so it may make sense to file one time and list everything together.

Separate Households

If a couple has been separated for a while and set up two distinct households it might be easier to file separately. Sometimes the spouses cannot communicate well and one spouse doesn’t have all the information needed on the other spouse’s income and expenses. In that case it would be better to file an individual bankruptcy.

Nothing in the law requires a couple to file jointly. The decision should depend on the specific circumstances of the couple involved.

More Bankruptcy J’s:

Image credit: Leo Reynolds

Trackbacks

  1. […] For other J bankruptcy terms: Judgment – Your Personal Finance Lawyer – New York Bankruptcy Lawyer, Jay S. Fleischman Justify – Northern California Bankruptcy Lawyer, Cathy Moran Judgment – Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell Judgment Liens – Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Lawyer Bob Doig Joint Filing – Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe […]

  2. […] is for Joint Filing. J is for Judgment. J is for Your Personal Finance Lawyer (Jay Fleischman). J is for Justify. J is […]

  3. […] Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe says J is for Joint Filing. […]

  4. […] Bankrutpcy Lawyer, Christopher McAvoy Joint Debts    Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart T. Ing Joint Filing    Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe Judgment    Omaha and Lincoln, […]

  5. […] / ” target=”_blank”>Joint Bankruptcy Filing Joint Debts Judgment Debtor Judgment Liens Jurisdiction Your Personal Finance Lawyer […]

  6. […] Bankrutpcy Lawyer, Christopher McAvoy Joint Debts    Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart T. Ing Joint Filing    Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe Judgment    Omaha and Lincoln, […]

  7. […] Joint Filing – Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe […]

  8. J is For Judge Julia Gibbons’ Bankruptcy Predictions For 2013…

    There is a second wave of bankruptcy filings that will hit a tsunami level in 2013 according to Judge Julia Gibbons. In my bankruptcy alphabet, J is for Judge. In April, 2012 the Washington Examiner chronicled A Second Bankruptcy Explosion……

  9. […] Bankrutpcy Lawyer, Christopher McAvoy Joint Debts – by Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart T. Ing Joint Filing – by Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe Judgment – by Omaha/Lincoln, Nebraska […]

  10. […] Bankrutpcy Lawyer, Christopher McAvoy Joint Debts                         Hawaii Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart T. Ing Joint Filing                Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe […]

  11. […] Joint Filing – Marin County Bankruptcy Attorney, Catherine Eranthe […]

Speak Your Mind

*