Many times, divorce and bankruptcy share common circumstances. It is not difficult to imagine that in a household struggling with financial issues and feeling the pressure of exponential debt, divorce is usually an unfortunate byproduct. In fact, financial difficulties are one of the most common reasons cited by divorced individuals as to why their marriage ended.

Alternately, divorcing couples may be considering bankruptcy due to the financial cost of obtaining a divorce and settling their personal property issues. No matter which scenario caused the other, it is certainly a difficult and stressful situation to be in.

Timing Is Important

Whether you file for bankruptcy before or after you file for divorce can have a significant impact on the state of your finances going forward. If you and your spouse are in agreement about filing for bankruptcy before you file for divorce, you will likely be able to resolve your debt issues and seek relief prior to your divorce. The issue of your debt will not have to be addressed in connection with the property division and other financial matters that arise during your divorce.

It is also advantageous to file for bankruptcy before filing a petition for divorce if only one spouse of the couple has to be named in the petition for bankruptcy. If bankruptcy is not filed until after the divorce, it is likely that each spouse would have to file separately, depending on the nature of the debts incurred. If that were the case, both parties would be responsible for separate fees and costs associated with the bankruptcy petition.  

Additional Issues to Address

Not all legal issues are straightforward, especially those that may arise between adversarial parties. Many individuals facing both divorce and bankruptcy have many questions about both processes and how they interrelate. Some common issues that may arise in a situation involving both divorce and bankruptcy are:

·     Child support and alimony payments after filing for bankruptcy

·     The status of marital debts and their repayment in the case of filing for bankruptcy before and after divorce

·     Avoiding foreclosure on the marital residence after divorce

Is Your Marriage Ending Amid Financial Difficulties?

An experienced attorney can help you address these issues and advise on what to expect in filing for both divorce and bankruptcy.  An attorney can work with you to properly and strategically plan and file for bankruptcy during your divorce. They can help you obtain debt relief and provide closure and guidance during a turbulent time.