New Jersey couples getting divorced often have joint debt that they need to discharge in a bankruptcy; this is not unusual. Thus they want to file a joint bankruptcy. The question becomes, can they do this with one attorney, or do they need separate ones?

Fortunately, in most cases, one attorney can often represent both divorcing spouses in a bankruptcy (as long as that attorney is not also representing one of the spouses in the divorce). This is because, usually, both the husband and the wife are on the same page: wanting to get rid of the marital debt before they end the marriage.

When Would You Need Separate Bankruptcy Attorneys?

The only time there is a conflict of interest is where each spouse has different goals for the bankruptcy, or where bankruptcy laws may reveal an advantage to one spouse that works to the disadvantage of the other. In that instance there may well be a conflict that would prevent one attorney from representing both of you.

The best thing to do is for each of you to consult with your own bankruptcy attorney separately and hash out all of the issues. Those lawyers can then identify any conflicts that would determine a need for separate counsel.

Once that has been done, if no problems arise, you can then proceed with the same lawyer (a third one) to handle the filing.

So What Should We Do?

If you live in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, are getting divorced, and are facing a mountain of debt, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment in my Woodbury office to discuss your options.

If you have other questions about divorce and bankruptcy, download my free book, Top Questions Divorcing Couples Ask About NJ Bankruptcy, for more answers!

Not sure if bankruptcy is right for you? Take the quiz to the right to find out more!

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.