Divorce and Bankruptcy


In most cases, divorces can be as taxing for your finances as they are for your emotions. It can be expensive to hire mediators and litigators, especially if you are already dealing with financial difficulties. According to statistics, 1 in every 10 petitions for bankruptcy names divorce as a leading cause.

This brings up the question of how bankruptcy and divorce are affected by one another. This blog aims to clarify the relationship between the two.

How Bankruptcy Affects Divorce

Bankruptcy Does Not Stop Divorce Proceedings

In the event one spouse files for bankruptcy while the divorce is ongoing, the court will continue with the divorce, but they may issue a stay relief on certain matters. This includes the property division process because bankruptcy can affect how the court proceeds with dividing home, pensions, stocks, and more. The family court would need permission from the bankruptcy court before proceeding with the property division phase.

Bankruptcy Does Not Suspend Alimony or Child Support Payments

In some divorce cases, one spouse may be ordered to pay the other child support, alimony, or both. Sometimes, the individual paying the support may feel as though they can look to bankruptcy to help relieve these payments. These types of support are considered super-priority and are made non-dischargeable. No matter the case, even under an automatic stay, these cannot be eliminated and will still continue to be garnished from wages.

Bankruptcy Can Affect the Spouse That Didn't File

Often, when spouses apply for a credit card, they include both names on the application. This means if they are approved for the credit card, both parties are liable for the payments. If one spouse files for bankruptcy at any point, the credit card company could go after the other spouse for the payments. Should the couple then divorce, the credit card company may still pursue to collect the debts from the spouse who did not file for bankruptcy.

How to Safeguard Yourself from Bankruptcy During Divorce

It is a fact that divorces can sometimes be very expensive. An experienced divorce attorney can help you create a plan to help offset the costs. If you and your spouse are in communication, it is wise to discuss financial matters with them. Vocalize your monetary needs and collaborate on how you can ease fiscal strain after the split. You should also contact your lawyer to communicate your needs to them. They can help you fight for your interests.

After discussing needs, debts, and assets, it is prudent that you come up with a financial plan. This will allow you to keep track of finances and what you can afford. It will also ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Here are some things to help create an effective plan:

  • Collect important financial documents such as tax returns, bank statements, and credit card statements.
  • Discuss your situation with a financial counselor to better understand the situation and your circumstances.
  • Be observant. If you believe your ex is hiding information about their assets or finances, talk to your lawyer.

Divorce can be emotionally, physically, and financially draining. If you are going through a divorce, contact our experienced Rancho Cucamonga divorce attorney today. We will review your case and inform you of your legal rights. We fight for our clients’ best interests. Call for a free consultation today.

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