Should You File for Bankruptcy before or after Divorce?

Just DivorcedDeciding to file for either bankruptcy or divorce can be a difficult decision to make, but facing  filing for both of these can add a whole additional layer of complexity and frustration, especially when trying to determine when it is best to file for both. This is a complex decision to be made, as the effects of both filings will have long-lasting effects on a person’s life.


Deciding when to file for bankruptcy and divorce is especially complex because of the number of options available and the many ways that these decisions will affect each other. As such, certain factors that you should take into consideration include:

  • Dividing your property during divorce – dividing property during a divorce is often a contentious and frustrating process. Thus, for those with many assets and properties, choosing to file for bankruptcy and liquidate some non-exempt assets (if filing for Chapter 7) can make this process a bit easier. If you feel that this could benefit you, you may consider filing for bankruptcy before filing for divorce.
  • Debt liability / responsibility – while filing for bankruptcy after a divorce may seem like it will alleviate one spouse’s responsibility for paying off debts, this is not always the case. Although debts can be divided and this can be upheld in a divorce agreement, debts that were accrued during the marriage are considered to be the responsibility of both spouses, even after a divorce.
  • Bankruptcy qualification – while almost anyone can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a person or couple needs to qualify first to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There is a limit for the maximum income a person or couple can have; thus, filing jointly or separately can make a significant difference in qualifying for this form of bankruptcy.

Additionally, you and your partner should talk about and consider which form of bankruptcy would be best for your situation. While you do need to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your eligibility could be affected by your marital status. Additionally, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be completed much quicker than any other form of bankruptcy. On the other hand, Chapter 13 offers a much longer period for repayment and is available to almost anyone.

About the author….

Abby Pearson is an established blogger who regularly contributes articles on a wide variety of issues such as divorce, marriage, bankruptcy, and legal matters. She is largely concerned with helping those seeking divorce assistance get the information and support they need from a divorce lawyer.


One Response to Should You File for Bankruptcy before or after Divorce?

  1. There is a lot of good information in this article. Also, when going through a divorce it is good to know that child support and/or alimony cannot be included in the bankruptcy. Great article.

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