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11 USC 302 - Joint cases

(a) A joint case under a chapter of this title is commenced by the filing with the bankruptcy court of a single petition under such chapter by an individual that may be a debtor under such chapter and such individuals spouse. The commencement of a joint case under a chapter of this title constitutes an order for relief under such chapter.
(b) After the commencement of a joint case, the court shall determine the extent, if any, to which the debtors estates shall be consolidated.