Can I File a Joint Bankruptcy case with my Boyfriend or Girlfriend in New York City?

Unfortunately, only legally married couples in New York City may file bankruptcy together jointly. While many unmarried couples have joint debt and may be overwhelmed by the bills they share, filing jointly is a bankruptcy privilege only married couples have. In New York legally married same-sex couples now also qualify for joint bankruptcy protection.

Filing a joint bankruptcy petition with your husband or wife may save time and money since you are only be going through the bankruptcy process one time, but filing jointly is not always the best solution. Many married people still file individually, because married couples oftentimes find more financial relief by filing for only one spouse, or sometimes by filing separate bankruptcies for each spouse. Everyone’s financial troubles are unique, so it’s best to seek the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney if you and your boyfriend or girlfriend are underwater on your joint debts. If you have a complicated debt situation with your partner, your attorney may want both of you at the consultation so they might better understand the particular financial problems you share.

Bankruptcy is a sensitive topic for most couples married or not. Many unmarried couples will incur debts together without an understanding for the finances of the other. As a law firm we try to avoid bringing other people into your bankruptcy unnecessarily, but if you and your boyfriend or girlfriend share a number of overwhelming debts then it could be a good idea for you to both seek the advice of the same attorney who can still work with both even though you may have to file separately or only once. Remember, you’re not married until you’re married, and sometimes this too has its advantages when considering bankruptcy.

If you live in New York City and have questions about filing bankruptcy for debts you share as an unmarried couple, please contact the Law Offices of William Waldner online or at 212.244.2882 to arrange a free bankruptcy consultation today. We only practice bankruptcy law and maintain a 99% Chapter 7 discharge record as of 8/31/16.

This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading this article no attorney-client relationship has been created.