Which comes first, bankruptcy or divorce?

Disagreements over money and financial troubles are some of the leading causes of divorce, so it comes as no surprise to learn that some people find themselves facing serious debt either right before or shortly after divorce. If you are facing the end of your marriage and overwhelming debt at the same time, you may be asking yourself if it is better to file for divorce or file for bankruptcy first.

Why seek bankruptcy protection?

Consumers seek the protection of bankruptcy when they are unable to manage their debt balances of their own volition. Upon filing, the automatic stay will go into effect, halting all creditor contact, foreclosure action and repossession efforts. Choosing to confront your debt through bankruptcy will offer the following benefits:

  • Stop harassing phone calls from bill collectors
  • Provide a clear plan for dealing with debt
  • Lay the foundation for a strong financial future

Mississippi consumers who plan to file for bankruptcy must first decide which chapter of bankruptcy is most appropriate for their unique situations. Most individuals will file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, but the right choice for you depends on factors such as the type of debt you have, your income and your disposable income.

Choosing the right path

Financial struggles and divorce are difficult enough when navigated individually, but it can be extremely complicated when they go hand in hand. Choosing whether to file for bankruptcy before or after your divorce is a daunting choice, but the right choice for you will depend on the unique circumstances of your situation. Here is what you need to know:

  • Filing before divorce: It is possible to file for bankruptcy before you initiate the divorce process or even before it is completed. Divorce is a lengthy process, and it may not be practical or beneficial to wait until it is complete to confront your debt.
  • Filing after divorce: Divorce brings significant changes, and you may find that your financial standing is precarious once the process is complete. You could have a share of marital debt, a mortgage and other debts that you cannot pay on one income. Bankruptcy may provide you the opportunity to effectively deal with the aftermath of your divorce.

Bankruptcy and divorce are both complicated processes, and it can be difficult to know where to begin when they overlap. By working with an experienced attorney who understands how these two legal processes relate to each other, you can make the right choices and have an opportunity for a fresh start.

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