BANKRUPTCY AND DIVORCE OR SEPARATION
Unfortunately, divorce or separation is a factor in nearly 50 percent of the cases we see at the Bankruptcy Clinic, PC If you have unmanageable debts and are suffering marital problems, you may wish to discuss your financial situation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you divorce. The decisions you make during this period can affect your finances for many years to come.
At the Bankruptcy Clinic, PC, we advise people regarding bankruptcy matters as they relate to divorce and separation at all stages. We help our clients make the right decisions about bankruptcy and then work to enable them to obtain maximum debt relief.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Should You File for Bankruptcy Before You Divorce?
Once a couple divorces, they can no longer file a bankruptcy together. If they do file together prior to a divorce, we would only recommend a Chapter 7 under such circumstances. Depending on the situation of the parties, it may be necessary to divorce first.
Our attorneys have been helping people obtain debt relief through Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings since 1992. During that time, we have advised and represented countless people who were divorcing, separated or already divorced. We understand the many complex financial inter-relationships between divorce and bankruptcy and can advise you on the best path for you to take.
Divorce and Marital Debts
When a divorcing couple holds a joint debt such as credit cards, medical bills, vehicle or mortgage loans, a divorce judge will typically order one party to assume responsibility for that debt. Unfortunately, creditors are not bound by the findings of a divorce judge. In their eyes, each spouse is still liable for the debt regardless.
This can lead to harsh results for both spouses. Even if one spouse is ordered to refinance a mortgage to immunize the other spouse, it does not necessarily follow that the spouse seeking to refinance has the financial ability or creditworthiness to do so. Regretfully, if one spouse files bankruptcy, it may well force the other one to do the same.
Child support and alimony obligations are never dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, other marital debts, such as apportionment of debts or payment of money can be. In October 2005, Congress changed the law to prohibit the discharge of marital debts in Chapter 7 cases. However, these debts may still be discharged in a Chapter 13.
Properly used, bankruptcy is a powerful tool that can provide debt relief and help you make a fresh start. With the help of the Bankruptcy Clinic, PC, you can make the right decisions and take the first step toward a more secure financial future.
Free Consultation With a Lawyer
Contact us today for more information about your debt relief options before, during or after a divorce or separation. We have offices in Carbondale, Marion, and Mt. Vernon, Illinois to serve you. Evening and weekend appointments are available.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.