Hello, this is Jeff Kelly bankruptcy attorney. And today I’m going to talk about can you marry someone who is about to file bankruptcy? And the answer is absolutely not. It’s not legal. Just kidding, of course. Just kidding. Just kidding. Relax. I know marriage can be a super scary proposition. You’ve got in-laws on the other side. You’ve got new potentially new brother in law’s and sister-in-laws. And now you’ve got more pressure on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and on and on and on. And then what happens if you also find out oh my gosh, the love of my life is loaded down with tonnes of debt. What should we do? Well, I think the worst thing you can do is to try to talk them out of filing bankruptcy.
I think filing for bankruptcy might be the the best thing you can do to help get your marriage off to a nice fresh start, get rid of that stuff if you can. If you wait until after the wedding takes place, then the income of both spouses will count on the bankruptcy means test. So in other words, if you are a high-income earner, you could end up disqualifying your future spouse from being eligible to file bankruptcy if they need to, if you wait until after the wedding.
if a person has high income, and they need to file bankruptcy, and the person they’re going to marry has no income in that particular case, it might make sense to wait until after the wedding is over. So the person who has no income will be counted as a member of the household in the Means Test. So in a case like this marriage might actually help Someone become eligible to file bankruptcy. Here are some debt issues I think you might want to consider before you get married.
For IRS purposes, if you sign a joint tax return after your marriage, you will be held liable for the joint tax debt. It doesn’t matter if if the other spouse is the one who generates all the taxes. If you sign the joint tax return, your assets are at risk. If you have a joint checking account, and you become married, and your spouse gets sued, and they get a judgment against them, a creditor can take that judgment and they can go after your joint checking account. So imagine you know what that’s like you’re you’re married, things are going great and all sudden Wham o the joint checking account gets completely cleaned out by Some random creditor that sued, not good for a marriage, not good, much better to take care of that stuff.
But for the wedding. Let’s say you buy a house together. And you know, again, some judgment from the past pops up. The judgment creditor can put a lien on your house, if they got a five a, it’s going to attach to the joint owner. Again, that kind of stuff is not good for marriage. Another thing you might want to consider, you know, before marriage is student loans, man, I hate to think of how many marriages have never taken place because of student loans. Side note, student loans should be dischargeable in bankruptcy, just like every other debt, but they’re not because Congress changed the rules back in the 90s. And they created a form of economic slavery by making student loans Non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. So you got to ask yourself how much student loan debt does my spouse? Oh, how many years is it going to take before they pay it off? Do they have a handle on this? Is there is it likely they’re going to be able to pay this amount of debt off? If not, and you’re looking at some astronomical amount today?
Well, compound interest is one of the greatest miracles of the world and it’s great when it’s working in your favor. But when it’s not, man, the the debt doubles, it triples it, you know, over decades quadruples. So again, these are very important things you should consider. I think the smart move is to meet with a qualified bankruptcy attorney before you get married if you have debt, concerns about a spouse, get a review of the entire situation. Naturally, you want to start your marriage off on on solid footing. So why not take advantage of our free consultation? It doesn’t cost you anything.
Come sit down with us. Let’s review everything. We know you can go to annualcreditreport.com you can pull a free credit report for yourself and one for your spouse. There’s also Credit Karma. We have office locations in Marietta, Kennesaw in Douglasville, Dalton, Cartersville, Dallas, Georgia and Rome, Georgia. Give us a call 770818449 it always helps to explore all your options.
Have a great day.