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Should you file for bankruptcy before or after getting married?

Getting engaged is an exciting experience. You likely cannot wait to get the wedding planned and to walk down the aisle to say, "I do." Of course, before the wedding takes place, you and your future spouse may need to have some serious discussions. In particular, you may need to take a look at your individual finances and what your details could mean for the future.

It is possible that one or both of you has a considerable amount of debt. While this does not necessarily mean that one or both of you are bad with money, it could warrant further discussion and brainstorming about what to do to protect both of your financial interests. In fact, it may even be necessary to consider bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy before marriage?

If you do believe that bankruptcy could help get your or your fiancé's finances under control, you may wonder whether you should file before or after tying the knot. The answer to that question will depend on your specific circumstances. While any debt you or your fiancé accumulated before getting married will remain the responsibility of each of you individually, it could still affect the way you handle your marital finances.

In efforts to decide whether to file before or after marriage, you may want to assess each person's debt. If you or your fiancé has a considerable amount of debt and the other does not, filing for bankruptcy individually before getting married may be wise. This step could help lessen any damage to a future spouse's financial affairs, and it could help the person filing qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if that is the desired option.

Is it wise to wait?

In the event that both you and your fiancé have a considerable amount of debt, getting married and filing for bankruptcy together afterward may be a better option. By filing jointly, you could save money on the fees that would come from two separate cases and save time by completing the process together rather than having individual meetings and court dates.

How can you make the best choice?

If bankruptcy for one or both of you is a real possibility, it is wise to gain reliable information about your options before getting married. This information could help you decide the best time to file and determine what could happen if you file before or after marriage. It may also be wise to speak with an experienced Tennessee bankruptcy attorney about your specific details and concerns to gain sound insight and advice about your particular situation.

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