This is truly not a yes or no question! Everyone’s circumstances do vary, but there are a few scenarios that we see on a regular basis.
First of all, if you have found yourselves with a mountain of joint debt and on the verge of a divorce, our first recommendation is to seek advice on the benefit of filing a joint bankruptcy before the divorce. This can possibly save your marriage if the mounting debt is causing the majority of your marital strife or it could provide you both with a total fresh start after divorce.
If you need to seek advice, individually or jointly, on filing for bankruptcy prior to a final divorce decree, it is important to inform your bankruptcy attorney that you are considering divorce. Your bankruptcy attorney can then give you the most intelligent advice on how to handle any individual or marital debts. It is also important to provide your divorce attorney with your bankruptcy information so that he or she can craft a decree that is in accord with the treatment of debts that you have chosen with your bankruptcy.
In many instances, one or both spouses are eventually driven to bankruptcy after the divorce is already final. This is not a problem, but you should be prepared to provide your bankruptcy attorney with a copy of your divorce decree. This can be helpful in crafting a successful bankruptcy case for you if there is language in the decree regarding how certain joint debts are to be handled. One of our experienced attorneys can counsel you on this process.
If you have questions or concerns in this area, I invite you to contact one of our offices to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to answer your detailed questions on this topic.
Amy K Tanner is a shareholder in several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She focuses primarily on consumer bankruptcy law in the Huntsville and Decatur offices.Read her full bio here.