Can I File For Bankruptcy Before My Divorce?
The relationship between bankruptcy and divorce can be complex, and anyone who is considering both bankruptcy and divorce should work with an attorney to consider the different types of individual bankruptcy and when it makes the most sense to file for bankruptcy in relation to filing for divorce. If you are struggling with debt, you might ultimately be hoping that you can file for bankruptcy prior to your divorce so that you will have a less significant financial burden in your divorce case. While you may be able to file for bankruptcy before your divorce in terms of the Bankruptcy Code and Florida law, whether or not a bankruptcy before your divorce is advisable is something you should consider with assistance from a lawyer. One of the bankruptcy attorneys in West Palm Beach can explain in more detail.
Bankruptcy Before Divorce Can Make a Lot of Sense for a Chapter 7 Filing
If you are planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then filing for bankruptcy before your divorce can often make a lot of sense. Since Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are relatively quick (usually around four to six months), the case could be finished before you move forward with a divorce. Moreover, since non-exempt assets are liquidated and eligible debts discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the divorce court will have less property to distribute between you and your spouse, and your divorce case could end up being faster and less expensive.
When Both Spouses Want to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Jointly, Bankruptcy Before Divorce May Be the Most Logical Order
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy before your divorce can particularly make sense when both you and your spouse plan to file for bankruptcy jointly. We mentioned above that the court will often have fewer assets and liabilities to distribute in a divorce following a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, but this is only true if your spouse is also filing for bankruptcy, and marital assets are being liquidated and marital debts are being discharged.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plans Could Complicate Divorce Plans
Chapter 13 bankruptcy in advance of a divorce can often complicate divorce plans. You should know that Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases tend to take anywhere from three to five years, so if you are planning to file for bankruptcy jointly with a spouse, sharing a bankruptcy repayment plan could make certain elements of your divorce significantly more complicated. Thus while you may be eligible to file for bankruptcy for divorce, you may want to consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy once your divorce has been finalized.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Lawyers
When you and your spouse are having serious financial and marital problems, you might be thinking about both bankruptcy and divorce. To determine whether you should file for bankruptcy initially or wait until after your divorce, it is important to speak with an experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyer at Kelley Kaplan & Eller. One of our attorneys can talk with you today to learn more about your circumstances. Once we know more about your situation, we can provide you with more information concerning the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy before divorce given the facts of your case.