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Should you file for bankruptcy or divorce first?

Facing financial troubles can cause a number of other prolems in life. In fact, your money issues may have contributed to problems in your marriage, and now, not only do you need to find debt relief, but you may also be facing a pending divorce. Understandably, you probably feel immensely overwhelmed.

You may also not know what process of moving forward entails. Because of the serious nature of your financial concerns, you may think that moving forward with bankruptcy first is the best choice, but in reality, it could depend on your specific circumstances, the type of debt involved and the type of bankruptcy you hope to utilize.

Which comes first: bankruptcy or divorce?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy, takes the shortest amount of time and can result in a complete discharge of allowable debts. However, this process also comes with an income requirement. Your income must fall below the mean state income level of Florida. If your and your spouse's combined incomes are greater than this level, it may be better to divorce before filing for bankruptcy. This way you could file on the basis of your single income, which may qualify you for Chapter 7.

On the other hand, if you have substantial marital debt that you do not want to have divided during divorce proceedings, you and your spouse may decide to move forward with bankruptcy as a couple. However, it is important to remember that this means you will have to work together through the process, and if your marriage is already rocky, it may not work out as hoped. Still, a successful bankruptcy before divorce could help the marriage dissolution process go more quickly.

What should you do?

In addition to the aforementioned details to consider, you will have other personal information to take into account. As a result, the timing of your bankruptcy will depend on those factors. In efforts to make the most informed decision possible about when to file your petition, you may wish to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. Having information regarding how the process will affect you as a married person or as a single individual could help you make your decision.

During a time of so much change, you may feel as if your life is out of control. Luckily, you can have support as you work to get your financial affairs on stable footing.

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