In Texas, both spouses do not need to file for bankruptcy. However, some may benefit from doing so.
Before you decide to file for bankruptcy, weigh the pros and cons of filing together or separately. Every case is different.
Filing for bankruptcy jointly or separately
Sometimes one spouse enters the marriage with debt, and sometimes you collect debt together. You may even do both. Filing for bankruptcy jointly places both of you, including all your debt and assets acquired before the marriage, under consideration.
Under Texas’s community property laws, anything acquired during the marriage is marital property. However, when only one spouse files for bankruptcy, he or she lists the separate debt collected during the marriage, but you still include community property.
Benefits of filing together
Filing together eliminates the difficulty of determining which assets are marital and which are non-marital, and Texas law allows exemptions at double the value of a single filer’s exemption limit. Filing is also not free, and filing separately results in additional fees.
Cons of filing together
Filing bankruptcy affects your credit score negatively, and it can take years to recover it. Filing together affects both spouses’ scores. Therefore, before you decide whether or not you should file together, consider how it may affect any plans you have for the future.
Much like filing taxes, it is typically better to file for bankruptcy jointly. However, the exceptions may include situations where one spouse brought in more debt to the marriage or the couple owns very little community property. What works for most couples, may not work for you.