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Should I file for divorce or bankruptcy first?

Among all of the many difficulties that accompany the prospect of divorce, concerns over personal finances are often at the forefront of people's minds. If you are currently considering ending your marriage, and you and/or your spouse have a considerable amount of financial debt, it can be incredibly helpful to know how filing for personal bankruptcy early could affect your divorce case.

Your Divorce 101 discusses the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcyprior to divorce, and explains that there are several benefits to pursuing debt relief early. For one thing, filing for bankruptcy as a couple is cheaper than filing individually, and doing so ensures that you are not held liable for any of your spouse's outstanding debts once your divorce is finalized. If you and your husband or wife incurred a significant amount of credit card debt during your marriage, for instance, the credit lender could pursue you to pay the balance even if your divorce settlement specifies otherwise.

Another important thing to keep in mind when considering whether or not to file for bankruptcy before divorce is that doing so would not affect your obligation to pay child support or alimony. Beginning the bankruptcy process would, however, immediately halt collections efforts. Eliminating the prospect of creditor calls and harassment may be especially appealing during this particular time in your life.

Despite the fact that filing for bankruptcy before proceeding with divorce can have a number of practical benefits, it may not necessarily be the best course of action in your particular case. The information provided above should, therefore, not be interpreted as legal counsel.

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