Married couples in Ohio and Kentucky are able to file joint bankruptcy petitions that combine the debts and property of both individuals. A joint bankruptcy is often the most beneficial option when a couple has several joint debts, but it may be more advantageous for married individuals to have one partner file on his or her own if the debts are predominantly individual debts.
Ohio and Kentucky are both equitable distribution states, meaning that property owned jointly is included in the bankruptcy estate, but a spouse's individual property is not. When an individual or his or her spouse has a significant amount of property that is not exempt from the bankruptcy filing, a joint filing may be the best way to protect the property.
Bankruptcy Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH for Married Couples
Are you and your spouse considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? You will want to make sure to seek legal representation so you can minimize your costs and maximize your benefits.
The Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyers of Steiden Law Offices have Ohio locations in Cincinnati, Maineville, and West Chester in Ohio as well as offices in Covington and Florence in Kentucky. Call today to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will allow our attorneys to review your case and help you understand all of your legal options.
Northern Kentucky Married Couples Bankruptcy Information Center
- What are the differences between individual and joint bankruptcy?
- How is shared property treated when only one spouse files for bankruptcy?
- Where can I find more information about married couples in Cincinnati bankruptcy cases?
Deciding whether to file bankruptcy individually or jointly depends on whether one or both spouses have significant amounts of debt. If only one spouse has debt, it can be advantageous for that person to file an individual bankruptcy petition without affecting his or her spouse's credit.
If one spouse files for bankruptcy, however, the other spouse will not be protected from creditors regarding joint debts. Filing two individual petitions can be much more costly than filing one because couples will have to pay twice the costs and fees.
It is important to keep in mind that married couples in Ohio and Kentucky filing bankruptcy jointly are allowed to double their exemptions. Thus, each party is able to claim the full exemptions amounts available to them and possibly protect even more property.
In a joint bankruptcy petition, all of a couple's joint and individual property can be included the list of assets added to the bankruptcy estate. When married couples file for bankruptcy individually, one spouse’s property and his or her share of joint property will not be included in the estate.
In many cases, filing jointly allows married couples to protect more property. In some cases in which one spouse has a significant amount of non-exempt property, it may be better to file individually since the non-filing spouse's property would be part of the bankruptcy estate.
Title 11 U.S. Code § 302 | Joint cases — View the full text of the section of the Bankruptcy Code addressing joint bankruptcy cases. As the statute notes, the commencement of a joint case under a chapter of this title constitutes an order for relief under such chapter. After the commencement of a joint case, the court determines the extent—if any—to which a debtors’ estates shall be consolidated.
Bankruptcy Forms | United States Courts — The United States Courts website is maintained by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the Federal Judiciary. Visit this section of the website to access various bankruptcy forms. Most forms indicate whether they are for individual and joint debtors.
Steiden Law Offices | Cincinnati Married Couple Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are married and considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Kentucky or Ohio, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel. Steiden Law Offices assists individuals in Hamilton County in Ohio as well as communities throughout Kenton County and Boone County in Kentucky.
Our Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyers will help you reduce or eliminate your bills while protecting as much property as possible. You can have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.