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Should I file for bankruptcy before or after I file for divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2019 | Firm News

If you are struggling under financial pressures in Massachusetts, bankruptcy can offer a solution. Keep in mind that the court freezes your assets during bankruptcy making it impossible for the family court to touch them. There are benefits to filing for bankruptcy before and after divorce. 

DivorceMag.com recommends not filing both for divorce and bankruptcy at the same time. The stress of two legal cases can make both processes more difficult and emotional. Crushing debt may make filing for bankruptcy before divorce a good choice, or you may need to file after the divorce finalized to get back on your feet. 

One key to determining which to file first is the status of your relationship. Filing for bankruptcy first may make more sense if your relationship is still on amicable terms. However, if you are not, filing for divorce may be a better first choice. It all depends on your unique relationship status. 

For those who file for bankruptcy first, joint filers may receive double exemptions depending on the court’s jurisdiction. These exemptions can help you keep more of your money to divide during the divorce. The process of bankruptcy may actually ease the process of divorce since the bankruptcy court handles the division of assets for both parties filing for debt relief. 

For those filing before a divorce, Chapter 7 is the fastest option because it concludes within six months. Chapter 13 uses a payment plan ranging from three to five years that can delay obtaining a divorce. This information is intended only to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.