bruce magness attorney at law 

When Should Husband and Wife File Together?


Both husband and wife should file if some of the debts to be discharged are owed by both spouses. In a community property state, such as Texas, debts incurred during the marriage may be the joint responsibility of both spouses even if only one spouse’s name is on the debt, at least to the extent debts were incurred for what is commonly referred to as “necessaries, i.e., food, clothing, and the like. If both spouses are liable for at least some of the debts and if only one spouse files under Chapter 7, the creditors may try to coerce the non-filing spouse into paying the debts, even if he or she has no income or assets. However, in some instances, after careful consideration of who incurred the debt, what assets are owned by each spouse, when the debts were incurred, who signed on the agreements involved, if some of the property is owned by one of the spouses as separate property, among other issues, it may be appropriate for only one spouse to file. In most instances, the risk of future trouble outweighs the benefits, and both spouses should file.

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