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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

  • Professional, competent, empathetic attorney.

    “My husband and I were forced into a position to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We were devastated and mortified that we had to choose that route, but Tom eased our stress about the filing and court hearing process, as he thoroughly explained what Chapter 7 entails, as well as exactly what to expect during and after the filing process; he was accurate on each point that he advised us on. Tom also kept in frequent contact with us and responded quickly to any questions or concerns that we had while we worked with him. Tom's expertise and tact was invaluable for us, and we will absolutely recommend him to any of our friends and relatives that may find themselves in similar positions to ours. Thank you, Tom, for your dedicated help during this process.”

    EJO

  • 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

  • You made a difficult experience so much easier.

    “Back a few years ago, you helped me through a bankruptcy. I still tell people how you made a difficult experience so much easier, with your clarity, support, and friendly approach to the law. I'm still very appreciative for all your help – it really helped to pull me out of a difficult place and put my life back on track.”

    Eric

  • We couldn't have gotten through this difficult process without Tom.

    “We couldn't have gotten through this difficult process without Tom. We evaluated a number of bankruptcy attorneys and found Tom to be the most knowledgeable and compassionate. He takes the time to explain all aspects of the process and answers your questions thoroughly and promptly both in person and via email. He knows the law and ensures that you receive the best treatment possible depending on your particular situation.”

    T & J

  • Mr. Hensel walked me through every step.

    “I would highly recommend the Hensel Law Office!! Mr. Hensel walked me through every step, got my garnishments stopped very quickly (even got garnished wages returned to me!) and told me what to expect along the way. He answered all of my questions in a very timely manner- no matter what time I sent an email or gave him a phone call. Also, I felt his price was very reasonable compared to some of the other places that I called. Mr. Hensel answered plenty of questions that I had before I even became a client.”

    Carl