Are you separated or in divorce from your spouse and you both need to file joint bankruptcy? What should you do? The simple answer is that as long as you are still married you can file a joint bankruptcy with your husband or wife.
The chapter 7 petition and schedules have always been set up to be available to married people even if you are living apart. What are the benefits of filing a joint bankruptcy with your spouse even if you can’t tolerate him?
- You can both have the same attorney
- You both pay one attorney fee and one filing fee
- You don’t have to be together to take the credit counseling class online
- The bankruptcy schedules allow each of you to list your separate living expenses
- In a joint case there will be full disclosure of financial information
You are lawyered up. You each have your own champion who speaks to you in divorce court in whispers. They will fight over each and every little point until either you are divorced, or your money runs out. That is not the way it is when I represent a divorcing couple. I am the attorney for both of you, even if only one is paying the fees. I will not favor one of you over the other. The reasons for the divorce, however painful to you are not relevant to me, or your bankruptcy. Once you both enter the agreement to retain me for a bankruptcy I represent the entity of you and your spouse. Your file in my office is open to each of you. No secrets.
Many Lorain County divorce attorneys refer their divorcing clients to me directly. It is much easier to resolve the asset and child issues if the debt issues are a thing of the past.
Of course trust is the only thing. After a few contested divorce hearings it can be very hard to trust anyone in the legal profession. Some of us are just darn nasty. But remember not all divorce cases are contested. Not all divorce lawyers want to clean you out. Many people come to court together, with one attorney, a separation agreement, and have the marriage amicably dissolved.
Same thing can be true with a joint chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. You can have a single lawyer, file one case, and get everything done with a minimum of fuss, bother and expense. Or you can do things separately. You can file two cases. Each can pay a different bankruptcy attorney. You can each pay for separate credit counseling classes and all the court costs. Which do you think is better for you?
Let me know what you think and leave a comment!