Divorce or Bankruptcy: Which Comes First?

Bankruptcy and divorce are two of the most emotionally charged events California residents face. If you and your spouse want to divorce, but financial issues stand in your way, there are steps you can take that help you get past this obstacle and move forward with your life. At the Law Office of Terrence Fantauzzi, I have been assisting clients in Rancho Cucamonga and throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area to get the debt relief they need for more than a decade.

According to Experian, although you can file for bankruptcy and divorce simultaneously, they can’t actually occur at the same time. In most cases, one motion will take priority over the other. Bankruptcy cases are generally put on hold until divorce is final, as property division often affects assets and debt. Whether you file for bankruptcy before or after divorce depends on your situation.

When Should Bankruptcy Come First?

If you and your spouse both plan to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, filing before divorce means you’ll only have to pay one filing fee and can share your bankruptcy attorney fee. Property division can be a contentious point under the best of circumstances. Creditors are not part of your divorce, which means they could continue to take collection action against both of you after the proceedings. Getting debt discharged now can make the divorce process go more smoothly. Most people complete Chapter 7 in about four months.

When Should Divorce Come First?

If you don’t pass the means test for Chapter 7 because of your combined household income, you may want to wait until you finalize your split. Filing Chapter 13 is an option, but it requires a three to five-year repayment plan. The debt will only be discharged once your case is complete. If your divorce is complex and filled with conflict, working through bankruptcy on your own may be less stressful.

Call a Bankruptcy Attorney Near You

From San Bernardino to Santa Monica to Santa Barbara, I help clients with overwhelming debt save their homes and create a strategy to get debt relief. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation and let me help you get a fresh start financially.

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