Divorce and bankruptcy: Choose one to go through first

| May 12, 2020 | Divorce |

Divorcing is hard enough as it is, but when you realize that your spouse has significant debts, that can make it much worse. You’ve sat down to talk to one another about the impact that those debts could have, but you’re not sure what to do. You don’t want to end up facing more debt after your divorce, especially since it’s not yours. 

One option for you may be to pursue bankruptcy. If your spouse has excessive debts and has missed payments, they may be able to pursue bankruptcy. It’s usually possible to go through bankruptcy individually or as a married couple.

Should you go through bankruptcy before or after a divorce?

If you know that there are significant debts piling up in your marriage, then you may want to seek bankruptcy before divorce. This will help you resolve debts before you move on — but it may also delay your divorce. On the other hand, you could also opt to wait until the debts and assets are divided in divorce to decide if you want to file for bankruptcy. At that point, you may have fewer debts than you thought you would, or you could find that divorcing made it much easier to show that bankruptcy is necessary to help you eliminate debts that you’ve accrued (once your spouse’s income isn’t in the equation.)

Going through bankruptcy and divorce at the same time will complicate matters, so take some time to consider what you’d like to do first. Your attorney may be able to help you consider the different implications of pursuing a divorce now or choosing to go through bankruptcy first, instead. The goal, regardless, will be to help you be on firmer financial footing once all is said and done.