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Nearly every couple at some point throughout their marriage experiences some type of financial struggle. After all, money and finances are a common arguing point for millions of families. If the unthinkable happens, and you or your spouse is forced to file bankruptcy, you may be under the assumption that you both must file. However, this is not the case, and even though you and your spouse may be used to sharing everything bankruptcy doesn’t have to be.

Everyone’s situation is different, and depending on a couple’s shared and separate income, assets and debts, declaring bankruptcy may be ideal for just one spouse. Although bankruptcy is an extremely complex process, working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help couples identify the best route for their situation.

If one spouse comes into the marriage with substantial debt, he or she may be able to file bankruptcy without forcing their spouse to follow in their footsteps. As with most bankruptcies, certain limitations apply and it is important for married couples to understand the ramifications of this decision. For example, if one spouse files bankruptcy on marital debt, the non-filing spouse may be on the hook to pay those.

Depending on your situation, filing bankruptcy may be in your best interest. If you and your spouse do not wish to file jointly, it may be beneficial to speak to an attorney about your options. Working with a skilled bankruptcy lawprofessional can help you throughout the bankruptcy process, from deciding which option is best for you to protecting your spouse from collection activity.