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Bankruptcy: How to Handle Bankruptcy and a Divorce

Bankruptcy and divorce are two of the most emotional and stressful life events that a person can endure. Dealing with one of those at a time can feel taxing, but handling them simultaneously is entirely overwhelming. If this is a reality you are facing, you may find it comforting that many others before you have overcome this painful experience, and new beginnings are in your near future. Before you file for either, there are several things you should take into consideration.

Continue reading below to learn how to handle bankruptcy and divorce.

Can I File for Divorce and Bankruptcy at the Same Time?

The short answer here is yes. However, one case will take priority in most jurisdictions. It is unlikely that your filings for both bankruptcy and divorce can take place concurrently. If you file for both at the same time, more often than not, your bankruptcy case will be suspended until your divorce case is finalized, or at least until your property, assets, and marital debts are divided between you and your former spouse.

Should I File for Bankruptcy Before or After My Divorce?

While the two filings are not handled at the same time, it is up to you to decide which you want to file first, your divorce, or bankruptcy. There are several things you should think about before making your decision, however. If you and your spouse are on decent terms, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy before your divorce. Doing this will let you share the cost and fees of your bankruptcy attorney and filing. Moreover, it can potentially protect you from paying your joint debt if you and your spouse jointly own property.

Do I File for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy if I am Divorcing?

The type of bankruptcy for which you should file depends on your situation. To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must make below a certain amount of money to pass the Means Test. 

If you are eligible, Chapter 7 bankruptcies are typically ideal for a faster divorce because Chapter 7 bankruptcy has a shorter timeline by eliminating your dischargeable debts within three to six months. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, is a three-year minimum commitment. If you cannot meet the requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be left filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Debts Regarding Your Divorce

Not all debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy. Some debts related to your divorce, such as alimony, child support, and attorney fees for child custody and support cases, are nondischargeable.

Contact Charles W. Daff, Bankruptcy Attorney

Correctly handling your bankruptcy and divorce can give you a fresh start. Because these processes can be incredibly challenging and complex, it is crucial to have experienced representation on your side. Charles W. Daff, Bankruptcy Attorney, has over 39 years of bankruptcy law experience and can assist you with debt relief, personal or business bankruptcy, foreclosure, and more. 

If you are in Santa Ana or the surrounding area and need a knowledgeable, state bar-certified specialist in bankruptcy, contact Charles W. Daff, Bankruptcy Attorney today.

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