Divorce and bankrutpcy

If you are going to divorce and file bankruptcy, you usually need to do one or the other first. Generally speaking, you can’t have the bankruptcy and the divorce going on at the same time.

I usually recommend, if possible, that the bankruptcy be filed first. If the parties are still on good terms, a joint bankruptcy can be filed and take care of both parties’ debts. By removing the couple’s debt, the bankruptcy can help the parties resolve their issues and eliminates one of the big contested issues in a divorce.

If you chose to do the bankruptcy first and don’t want to file together, we will do a single petition and usually exclude the spouse’s income from your bankruptcy (if you are not living together any more).

If you do the divorce first, you should talk to a bankruptcy first to make sure that the divorce decree doesn’t unnecessarily create more debt problems or asset transfer problems. Higher income debtors may want to divorce first as the child support and/or alimony may help a debtor pass the means test.

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