When planning your wedding, hopefully debt and bankruptcy and financial trouble don’t need to be a part of the discussion. In a perfect world, the conversation would revolve around the flowers, the dress, the venue, the guest list, and…the wedded bliss soon to come! But sometimes, affianced couples DO have to worry about some of the grittier aspects of marriage before they say, “I do!” If your fiancé is filing for bankruptcy, do you need to wait until they receive their discharge of debt before you get hitched? When you marry someone, do their debts become your debts? If you find yourself in this type of situation, don’t ignore it. Get the answers you need, make a plan and then set the worry aside so that you can focus on all the good stuff – like the flowers and making your cousin wear a bridesmaid dress she’ll hate.
What To Know About Bankruptcy Before Marriage:
- Eligibility for bankruptcy is dependent on multiple factors; some of which can be altered by marriage.
- Some of the factors used to determine bankruptcy eligibility can be altered simply moving in with your fiancé even if you haven’t yet said, “I do.”
- The temptation to postpone filing for bankruptcy until after the wedding should be weighed carefully against the possibility of wage garnishment and other actions collectors can take that could decrease your income and prevent you from filing at a later date because you can’t “afford” it.
- Situations change – frequently and often without fair warning. Even if the situation changes for the better, it can have negative effects. For instance, chronic unemployment could suddenly end while delaying your bankruptcy filing date. The new job is amazing and exciting, but the resultant income could disqualify you from obtaining the fresh start of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Filing before this life chance (congratulations, by the way!) would mean debts would be gone and the new, exciting income could have been used to rebuild credit. Or maybe while you’re postponing your filing, you get that promotion that you’ve been waiting to get for decades and it kicks you right over the line that allows you to qualify for a discharge of debt.
Sometimes all it takes is that second income to leave a bankruptcy petitioner ineligible to eliminate debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The best way to ensure that you aren’t hurting your own chances at eligibility, consult n experienced bankruptcy attorney.
If you have any additional questions regarding bankruptcy, the bankruptcy process or how to file bankruptcy in California, please get in touch with one of the experienced bankruptcy lawyers at Westgate Law.