With disagreement over finances being a leading cause of divorce, it’s no surprise many people seek the help of an attorney to file bankruptcy as well as the dissolution of marriage. While you can file both legal motions at the same time, it’s not advised to complete divorce and bankruptcy simultaneously because the two can affect one another. Here’s how to determine which you should file first.
Which Should You File First?
Most people file bankruptcy before divorce. In part, this is because finances are treated differently for single or married individuals. When you register for bankruptcy, your assets are frozen, and debts are evaluated. When you file a joint bankruptcy with your spouse, all debts are addressed under one case, and your assets are shared, which may allow you to complete the process quicker and increase exemptions. It can also speed up the divorce settlement process. In addition, joint bankruptcy can eliminate contracts such as car loans and mortgages that neither party wants to be responsible for.
If you were to file for bankruptcy during a divorce, it could delay the divorce proceedings, making the process more drawn-out and stressful. Keep in mind you should be on good terms with your spouse if you are to file bankruptcy first, as you’ll need to work together with your bankruptcy attorney, possibly for several months.
What Are the Exceptions?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a fast-track method that takes about three to six months. Chapter 13, on the other hand, involves making a plan that can last three to five years. If you’re choosing to file chapter 13, you may want to divorce first to avoid the divorce proceedings taking much longer than necessary. You may also want to divorce first if you do not meet the means test to qualify for chapter 7 as a couple, but your income does qualify.
If you need a trustworthy attorney in Cumberland County, TN, turn to Kevin R. Bryant Attorney at Law. Located in Crossville, this experienced attorney provides exceptional legal counsel for a variety of matters, including dissolution of marriage as well as child support and custody. Call (931) 787-1004 to schedule a consultation or visit the website to learn more about how Kevin R. Bryant can help your family.