The short answer to the question is yes.

The more important inquiry is which option makes the most economic sense for you and your spouse! Georgia follows the common law rules of ownership of property and liability for debt. In Georgia, unless your spouse (or some relative, friend or other person) cosigned for your debt, you are solely liable for that debt. So, if you have always lived in Georgia and most of the debt you wish to eliminate is solely in your name, then it would make economic sense for you to consider filing an individual case and attempt to preserve your spouse’s credit history. If you have moved to Georgia from another state which also follows the common law rules, the answer would be the same.

If you have moved to Georgia from one of the nine states that follow community property rules relating to ownership of property and liability for debt, and you or your spouse incurred debt in that state, the answer may be different. Those nine states are: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Washington  and Wisconsin.

So, whether it makes economic sense to file individually or joint with your spouse in Georgia, depends on the answer to several questions including where you and your spouse lived when the debt was incurred. If you have lived only in Georgia (or in a state which is not a community property state), is the debt joint with your spouse or are you solely liable for the debt? If you and your spouse incurred debt in a community property state before moving to Georgia, did your spouse incur the debt before your marriage or was the debt incurred by you or by your spouse after the marriage?

Your attorney should be able to sort out these issues to ensure a Chapter 7 fresh start for you and, if applicable, both you and your spouse.

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