Bankruptcy and Divorce: Which Comes First?
Money and relationships seem to be connected. Financial issues can lead to divorce. A divorce can cause financial issues. Because of this, it is not uncommon for a person to consider both divorce and bankruptcy at the same time. But how exactly does this work? Can both processes be completed at the same time? Can they affect each other?
The timing of each is critical. You cannot do both at the same time without significant hurdles and delays. Should file for divorce or bankruptcy first? It depends on your situation. Read on to find out the general guidelines.
When to File for Bankruptcy First
If you plan to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then you should do that first. This type of bankruptcy is done fairly quickly, with the whole process lasting just several months. It will be better to get this done before filing for divorce, since it will wipe out debts that will need to be divided in a divorce anyway. It’s even easier to divorce if both you and your spouse file jointly for bankruptcy. However, you need to be on good terms. Trying to file bankruptcy with an angry spouse could lead to a hostile situation and make matters worse.
When to File for Divorce First
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is different. This type of bankruptcy can last 3-5 years, so you may not want to wait that long to divorce. Each party would be responsible for adhering to their own repayment plan, and assets cannot be divided during this time, so your divorce would be delayed. Therefore, it would be best to get your divorce out of the way first before embarking on a long road to bankruptcy.
You may also wish to file for divorce first if your and your spouse’s combined incomes are too high for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you don’t want to go the Chapter 13 route, but do not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because income is an issue, then consider a divorce first.
Why Can’t You Do Both?
If you file for divorce and bankruptcy at the same time, they can delay each other. A bankruptcy must be completed before assets and liabilities can be divided in a divorce. Also, bankruptcy is based on income, and this is determined by whether you are single, married or divorced.
It is important to know how your assets will be affected in a bankruptcy. Filing a joint bankruptcy could give you extra protection so you can possibly hang on to your assets. Consult with a lawyer to understand your rights.
Contact a Coral Springs Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy can sometimes lead to divorce, and vice versa. While you cannot file for both at the same time, you can file them one after another. Deciding which one to do first is the biggest decision.
Make the right choice by contacting Coral Springs bankruptcy attorney Barry S. Mittelberg. He will answer your questions and give you the personal attention you need. Schedule a free consultation by calling his office today at (954) 752-1213.