Divorce and Bankruptcy…Which Comes First?

Unfortunately, divorce and bankruptcy often go hand-in-hand.  Long-term financial struggles can be a significant cause of stress between couples, and can be a major factor in the choice to divorce.  Divorce creates additional financial stresses and added living expenses, which can lead recently-divorced people into bankruptcy.  We often have clients who are separated or considering divorce come to us and ask, “Which should I do first…complete the divorce, or file for bankruptcy?”

The answer can be complex, and depends on a number of factors.  First, who is responsible for the debts?  If the debts are all in one partner’s name, and there will be no distribution of debt or property in the divorce, it may not matter which comes first.  On the other hand, if there will be negotiation about who is responsible for the debt after the divorce or how assets will be divided, it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can advise you on what types of debt may be discharged in a bankruptcy.  If necessary, your bankruptcy attorney can discuss your case with your divorce attorney to ensure that both matters are handled properly.

If you have questions or believe that bankruptcy and divorce might be in your future, give us a call to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation.  We can talk to you about timing, joint debts, and distribution of debts in divorce.  Give us a call at (541) 683-6652 or toll-free (800) 682-9568 to set up a free initial consultation so we can help you develop a timeline to manage your divorce and bankruptcy matters.

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