Divorce and bankruptcy can be very stressful processes, even when they take place at different times. Filing for divorce and bankruptcy at the same time can often lead to complications that could have been avoided by filing separately. If you are in a situation where you need to file for both divorce and bankruptcy, it is recommended that you file one before the other. This ensures the greatest likelihood that both can be resolved as efficiently as possible.
Should you file for bankruptcy or divorce first?
In determining the answer as to which should be filed first, it largely depends on your exact situation. In many cases, filing for bankruptcy first can reduce court costs and attorney fees, while also allowing you and your spouse to settle any joint debts that you may have.
In other situations, it may be better to file for divorce first. For instance, if your joint income is too high to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once the divorce is finalized, both you and your ex will be able to file separately. Furthermore, if the divorce will include any alimony or child support payments, it is best to have those amounts finalized prior to filing for bankruptcy.
What complications may arise from filing divorce and bankruptcy simultaneously?
When you are embroiled in bankruptcy, much of the property you own will become property of the bankruptcy estate. If you are involved with a divorce simultaneously, the joint assets cannot be divided by the overseeing judge because they are tied up with the bankruptcy estate. This can lead to both affairs being drawn out far longer than if they had been filed separately.
If you are considering both bankruptcy and divorce, we suggest you first speak with an experienced . The initial consultation is free and will help answer questions that pertain to your specific situation. Contact the office of Kelley & Fulton today to set up an appointment.