There is perhaps no more dreaded word in the world of finance than bankruptcy. Many people in New York view it as the end of their financial dreams and a death blow to their goals of homeownership, retirement and other goals that they have set for themselves.

While bankruptcy is never the primary goal of a financial commitment, there are times where this form of financial protection is unavoidable. There are a lot of questions that have to be answered within the realm of bankruptcy law, including questions about the filing options for a married couple.

Some people don’t realize that in most states, an individual can file for bankruptcy protection without involving his or her spouse in the process. There are only 10 community property states where the property of one person is considered to be the property of his or her spouse as well. New York isn’t on the list.

So while there is no such thing as community property in New York, there is also no such thing as community debt. The person who signed up for the debt is the individual who is responsible for paying it.

The many facets of a bankruptcy filing, especially those within a marital relationship, is a large part of the reason you should hire a bankruptcy attorney. The average individual isn’t going to be familiar with all of the options available to them and his or her spouse, but a well-versed lawyer will be.

If someone finds him or herself in a position where his or her only viable option is to file bankruptcy, that person is highly encouraged to visit an attorney who can provide valuable information about bankruptcy law. A lawyer may want to review all of his or her client’s financial records, debt-to-income ratio and more information to best advise him or her.

Bankruptcy may not have been the ideal scenario for you to consider, but working with a highly experienced bankruptcy attorney can help ensure that it isn’t the end of your dream.