If a couple is considering getting married, one thing they may be concerned about is if one of the individuals has filed for bankruptcy or has poor credit. Even though people are generally not required to pay off the debts of their spouse unless the debt is in both of their names, there can still be financial implications if one person's finances are shaky.
The most common issue is likely to be when a couple attempts to obtain credit for large purchases. In some cases, instead of having two people applying for a loan together being beneficial, it can actually raise the interest rates when one person's credit score is low.
A potentially bigger issue is when one person has not filed for bankruptcy or has outstanding loans. While most creditors cannot garnish a spouse's bank account, they can do so if the person who owes them money is named on the account. If a couple shares a bank account and a creditor is able to get a judgment, they are legally able to seize up to one-half of the contents of the account. Therefore, it may be a good idea to keep finances separate until someone has eliminated their debt by paying it off or filing for bankruptcy.
Financial issues and debt can become sources of much strain in a marriage, but filing for bankruptcy may help get rid of credit card balances and other types of personal debt. While bankruptcy can be beneficial, it is important that people understand the different types of filings and the processes for each. An attorney may be able to explain the pros and cons of filing and assist people throughout proceedings.