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Divorce or Bankruptcy: Which Comes First?

Posted on in Bankruptcy

bankruptcy-and-divorceYou may not have imagined filing for divorce on your wedding day. However, in a world where, according to the CDC, nearly 44 percent of marriages end in divorce, more and more couples will have to navigate their way through this trying time.

Divorce alone can seem overwhelming, but you may find it is not your only challenge. Couples with debt may face certain financial concerns, especially those who are considering filing for bankruptcy.

Why Filing for Bankruptcy First Is a Good Idea

If you are filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may want to think about jointly filing before the divorce has finalized. This way, you will have a repayment plan or possibly dismissal of certain debts, which will help you plan your post-divorce finances.

Debts incurred during the marriage are the responsibility of both partners. If your ex files for bankruptcy and you do not, you could be liable for the debt. With that said, bankruptcy will not shelter you from alimony, eliminate student loans, or stop you from having to pay child support.

While it is generally agreed that partners should file for bankruptcy before divorce proceedings have concluded, you can still file after the divorce.

Contact an Attorney to Learn about Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies

For chapter 13 bankruptcy, filers have three to five years to resolve their debts by following a repayment plan. This option may be ideal for divorcees that have a reliable source of income. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, may allow a discharge of unsecured debts. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can assess your case and help you determine which option is right for you.

If you are planning to file for bankruptcy or divorce, contact a McHenry County bankruptcy attorney. For more than 16 years, Colleen Thomas at Thomas Law Office has served the needs of clients in Illinois with their divorce, family law, and bankruptcy issues. Call 847-426-7990 to schedule a consultation for your case.