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Joint Bankruptcy Lawyer in Michigan

Filing Bankruptcy When You Are Married

If you are currently married in the state of Michigan, you may be wondering whether or not you and your spouse are obligated to file a joint bankruptcy petition. While most couples have incurred shared debt over the course of their marriage, it is not a legal requirement that both spouses file together.

Rather, all married couples can explore the following debt relief options:

  • File a single bankruptcy petition together
  • Allow one spouse to file individually
  • Allow both spouses to file separately
  • Pursue an alternative course of action

Before making the decision to file together or separately, however, it is important to weigh the pros and cons. There are numerous factors that should be taken into consideration when mapping out a practical course of action, so it is highly recommended that you discuss your financial situation with a Michigan bankruptcy lawyer from Hensel Law Office, PLLC before moving forward.

How Does a Joint Bankruptcy Filing Work?

In a joint bankruptcy, you and your spouse will be asked to list all of your debts in a single petition—including those owed individually and those shared. You would then submit one set of paperwork to the bankruptcy court, including all of the property that you would like to protect from inclusion.

Once the bankruptcy process has been completed, you should be able to wipe out both parties' dischargeable debt without having to file two separate petitions. While this can be extremely beneficial for a number of reasons, a joint bankruptcy may not be right for everyone.

The Benefits of Filing a Joint Bankruptcy Petition

When deciding whether or not to file a joint bankruptcy petition, whether filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, it is important to take several different factors into consideration.

First, you should address the positive aspects:

  • Joint Bankruptcy Will Save You Time & Money - Whether you decide to file together or individually, the bankruptcy filing and attorney's fees will be the same. This means that you could save time and money if you and your spouse file jointly.
  • Joint Bankruptcy Eliminates Both Parties' Debt - Since both spouses would be responsible for repaying any shared debts incurred over the course of their marriage, it may be counteractive for one spouse to file individually. The non-filing spouse would still be liable for their separate debts and their share of any joint debts that were not discharged during the bankruptcy.
  • Joint Bankruptcy is More Efficient - Filing for bankruptcy is no simple matter. You must provide extensive financial documentation in your petition, and you will be required to attend at least one hearing with a bankruptcy trustee. For this reason, it may be more efficient for you and your spouse to file jointly, as you would only be required to do this once.
  • Joint Bankruptcy Protects More of Your Property - In the state of Michigan, married couples that file a joint bankruptcy petition will be allowed to protect more of their property. For example, you and your spouse could each exempt up to $3,250 in motor vehicle equity.

Explore Your Joint Bankruptcy Options

If you are interested in filing a joint bankruptcy petition, it is highly recommended that you consult a bankruptcy attorney first. While this process can be advantageous for many couples, you should not hesitate to explore all of your options before making a final decision.

For this reason, the legal team at Hensel Law Office encourages you to contact our firm today for a free consultation. In doing so, you will have the chance to discuss your goals and concerns, develop an effective plan of action and begin taking steps toward a debt-free future.

When you call our office at (888) 258-0651, you will have the opportunity to schedule an appointment with our very own attorney Thomas Hensel.

Client Testimonials

  • We have and will continue to recommend you to others in need of a fresh start.

    “Dear Tom, my husband and I wanted to express our deepest thanks for the help you gave us during our embarrassing and stressful time. I was very impressed that you returned every phone call in a timely manner. You were able to explain exactly what was going to happen in words that "we" could understand. You answered every question we threw at you. The whole bankruptcy process from start to finish was complete in the time you told us it would take. Your professionalism yet friendliness made the whole experience for us almost enjoyable... almost! We have and will continue to recommend you to others in need of a fresh start.”

    Melissa

  • Tom Hensel is definitely the right attorney to call!

    “I was referred to Tom Hensel by a friend. My first impression was not only was Tom professional but he's so kind and caring too. He helped my husband and I through an embarrassing, scary situation and definitely made it more positive one. He guided us through our options and helped us make the right decision for us which ended up being a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Tom was so knowledgeable and helped us throughout the whole process. He never once made us feel uncomfortable or dumb when we had questions. He was also very easy to get a hold of when questions would come up and would always return our calls and emails promptly. I strongly recommend Tom to anyone going through this kind of financial nightmare. Do yourselves a favor and call him right away. He will help you get on the right path again. Our only mistake was waiting so long to call him!! When we in court waiting our turn all the other attorneys referred to their clients as "The debtors" Tom on the other hand acknowledged us by our names. Little things mean a lot and that left a lasting impression with us. Tom Thank You again for all your help!!”

    Stacy S.

  • He always responded quickly and intelligently.

    “Mr. Hensel made a difficult and uncomfortable situation as easy as possible for me. He always responded quickly and intelligently to my questions and never made me feel as if I were bothering him. He explained the unknown aspects of bankruptcy, the court system, and my options in clearly understandable terms. I felt confident that he was handling my case in the best possible manner and in my best possible interests. I feel lucky to have found the Hensel Law Office and I never hesitate to refer others who could use assistance - because I know they will get superior service and help.”

    Kelly

  • I greatly appreciate your time and effort.

    “It was a great pleasure and relief working with you through that tough time. I greatly appreciate your time and effort on our case. I will gladly and confidently recommend you to anyone I know facing a tough financial time requiring your expertise.”

    Jay

  • Sincerest thanks for all of your help in affording me what I consider a real "fresh start."

    “I wanted to give you my sincerest thanks for all of your help in affording me what I consider a real "fresh start". My divorce was unfortunate but definitely a needed change for the better. However, the financial side of things still seemed to keep that past linked, which makes this an enormous weight lifted. I just can't believe the impact it's made on my outlook with...everything.I will be sure to keep your business cards handy to distribute along with highly favorable words of recommendation should the needs arise.Thank you again for your time and professional guidance.”

    Michelle