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How to Talk to Your Kids About Filing for Bankruptcy January 15, 2019

La Crosse, La Crosse County
How to Talk to Your Kids About Filing for Bankruptcy, La Crosse, Wisconsin

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is not easy, especially when you have children to provide for. You may worry what kind of impact this will have on their future and whether you should talk to them about your debt problems. While it may be natural to try and shield your kids from knowing the challenges of financial hardship, open and honest communication is key to getting the entire family through this difficult time smoothly. Your bankruptcy attorney can address the legitimate concerns of filing in depth, but in the meantime, the following information can help make the filing process easier.

Bankruptcy & Your Family 

How to Discuss Bankruptcy With Your Children 

Discussing bankruptcy with your kids in the proper manner can help to alleviate any stress they are feeling from you and serve as a valuable lesson about money management. The way you approach the conversation will determine how well they’re able to cope with your decision. Bankruptcy attorneys generally suggest using these tips: 

  • Rather than talking about complex bankruptcy laws and procedures, keep the message simple about why you’re filing and go over what this will mean for your spending habits.
  • Tailor your message to the age of your children, as teenagers can understand more than younger kids. 
  • Remain reassuring and let them know bankruptcy is not a punishment but a step in the right direction towards getting your finances back on track.

How Bankruptcy Can Affect Your Family 

bankruptcy attorneyAs you go through the bankruptcy process, your finances will become an open book. Your bankruptcy attorney will help make sure your paperwork includes all the debts, assets, and transactions you’re required to disclose. In doing so, your family can be affected in a variety of ways.

For instance, your child’s property may need to be liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to pay back your creditors. If your child attends a private school, there is also potential they will need to switch to a public school if their tuition expenses exceed the allotted amount under a Chapter 13 filing. Typically, all members of a family will need to make changes and sacrifices to accommodate a bankruptcy. 


Although bankruptcy may be the best solution for your financial situation, it can be overwhelming for the family to deal with. The bankruptcy attorneys at O’Neill Law Firm, LLC understand how filing can disrupt your normal routine and are available to help ease the process. Over the past two decades, they have worked with numerous La Crosse, WI residents, providing the guidance they need to achieve debt relief in the least unsettling way possible. Call (608) 519-3551 to review your bankruptcy options or visit them online to learn more about getting a fresh start. 

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