Should You File For Bankruptcy Before Or After Your Divorce?

A lot of couples who divorce find themselves in troubling financial situations. Many of these couples will decide to file for bankruptcy as a way of finding relief and a fresh start. The question is, though, when should you file? Should you file before your divorce case is complete or after? Here are some of the factors a bankruptcy lawyer evaluates when offering advice for this question.

How Both Spouses Feel About Bankruptcy

The first thing to consider is how both of you feel about filing. If you want to file but your spouse doesn't, you could still file before your divorce is through. You would file individually for bankruptcy in this case, and you can do this before or after.

If you both want to file, it may be beneficial to file before your divorce finalizes. If you choose this time of filing, you can file jointly. If you both file after the divorce, you will each need to file separate cases. Filing jointly typically costs the same as filing individually, so you will have to pay double if you wait to file after the divorce.

The Income You Make Together

The amount of income you make together also matters. Your income can disqualify you from using Chapter 7 if it is too high. If you do not want to have limits on which branch you can use, you will benefit by waiting to file until after the divorce. If income isn't an issue, then filing before may be fine.

The Debts Each Person Has

Lawyers also like to factor in the debts each person has. If all the debts are in just one of your names, then it may not make sense for both people to file. In this case, income wouldn't be a factor you will need to consider when timing your case.

The Branch You Must Use

After your lawyer analyzes the first few factors, he or she will know which branch you qualify for before the divorce and after it. Most divorcing couples prefer using Chapter 7, as it is the better option for couples who are splitting up. Your lawyer will likely recommend the timing of your case based on which time would allow you to use Chapter 7.

You have the right to file for bankruptcy during your divorce if you choose to, or you can file afterward. It is up to you, but timing it right is vital. To learn more, talk to your divorce lawyer and reach out to a firm that offers bankruptcy attorney services.

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