How Does Filing for Bankruptcy Affect Your Divorce?

Depending on your financial situation, it may seem like it is a sensible decision to file for bankruptcy at the same time as you file for divorce, especially if large debt was a major contributing factor to your divorce. However, these two legal processes can occasionally complicate each other when they occur at the same time and make the divorce process in particular go quite a bit slower.

If you file for bankruptcy during a divorce, the divorce court can still make decisions regarding items such as alimony, child support, child custody and visitation. However, the property division process cannot begin so long as bankruptcy courts still have control over your property.

It is also important to understand that just because you file for bankruptcy does not mean you will automatically be excused from certain joint debts that you incurred during the course of your marriage. Although bankruptcy may forgive these debts for you and put the responsibility on the shoulders of your ex-spouse, in most cases that spouse will be advised to take you back to divorce court to get an order for you to pay him or her back.

Certain divorce debts cannot be eliminated at all from bankruptcy. Alimony and child support will never be forgiven through bankruptcy, end neither will any payments that you make to your spouse as part of an exchange for property.

Filing for bankruptcy during a divorce is not an inherently good or bad idea — it simply adds some complications you’ll need to address. For more information on how to work through these processes simultaneously and how one will affect the other, consult the experienced Long Island divorce attorneys with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.

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