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Bankruptcy and Divorce: What you Need to Know

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Get the right lawyers to help you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy!

When filing for both divorce and bankruptcy in Florida, timing is crucial. One of the most common questions a bankruptcy lawyer will be asked about this procedure is which should come first: bankruptcy or divorce? The answer depends on a number of factors.

Who Should file for Divorce First?

Filing for divorce before bankruptcy is a logical choice if your joint income is too high to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is significantly less than your partner and you’re looking to relieve your debt, filing for divorce first may be your best option. After a divorce, both partners may be better able to qualify for bankruptcy individually.

It should be noted that filing for bankruptcy will not absolve spousal support, as this type of payment is deemed a nondischargeable form of debt. However, if duty of alimony is signed over to a third party, the debt may become eligible for discharge.

Who Should File for Bankruptcy First?

Filing for bankruptcy before divorce, or filing jointly, means that all debts will be considered under one case. This is advantageous when trying to eliminate debt on joint assets like a mortgage or car loan. Qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes about 90 days. Your divorce filing can then proceed without interruption from bankruptcy.

If you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy before divorce, keep in mind that both parties will be responsible for the repayment plan and the division of assets by sale may not be permitted.
While this is a brief and helpful guide to get you thinking about what will work best for you, it is by no means exhaustive. Each case of bankruptcy and divorce is unique and should be handled as such. If you are looking for advice from a bankruptcy lawyer in Boca Raton, RLC Lawyers & Consultants are here to advise you. Contact us at (561) 571-9610 or send us an email at info@rlcfl.com.