Plantation Bankruptcy & Divorce Lawyer
Should I File For Divorce Or Bankruptcy First?
One of the two main reasons people file for bankruptcy is due to a divorce (the other is medical bills). Divorce itself can often have devastating financial consequences for couples. If your finances are already tight, bankruptcy before your divorce could potentially salvage the financial futures for both of you, contact our experienced Plantation bankruptcy & divorce lawyers today.
Experienced Legal Help When Divorce And Bankruptcy Are Intertwined
The bankruptcy law firm of Nowack & Olson has been helping Floridians with all matters of bankruptcy for more than 20 years. Our experience with the courts, administrators and opposing counsel has earned us a reputation that allows us to both aggressively represent our clients’ needs and assure them of the best possible resolution for their cases. Don’t guess at what will work best for your situation. Talk to one of our lawyers, and get answers.
Dividing Debts During A Divorce
Divorce and bankruptcy frequently go hand in hand, adding stress to a situation that is already emotionally charged. At Nowack & Olson in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Boca Raton and Jupiter (Palm Beach Gardens) Florida, we have assisted hundreds of couples engaged in bankruptcy proceedings before, during and after divorce.
Our lawyers have more than 20 years of experience helping people with division of debts in divorces. We know what you are dealing with, and our lawyers are dedicated to helping you through this challenging time so you can come out financially strong in the end.
How Are Marital Debts Divided In Divorce?
During a divorce, all marital assets and debts must be divided equitably between the spouses. Marital debts, including mortgages, car loans and shared credit card debts, are then the responsibility of the spouse to whom they are assigned.
How Can Bankruptcy Help?
Filing bankruptcy before a marriage may be useful for couples with substantial debt and limited income. Chapter 7, in particular, can allow you and your spouse to dismiss all unsecured debts from credit cards and medical bills.
Filing for bankruptcy before divorce essentially takes one of the greatest points of contention — who will be stuck with marital debt — out of the divorce process. This can help both spouses move on with their lives without being crushed by residual debt from a divorce.
Do Both Spouses Have To File Bankruptcy?
Many couples wonder whether both spouses have to file bankruptcy together, or if just one can file alone. At Nowack & Olson, we use more than 40 years of combined experience to help our married and divorcing clients understand their rights and obligations in bankruptcy proceedings.
Technically, there is no law requiring that married couples file together. However, the rules and administrative facts of bankruptcy can make it very difficult for a married person to file alone.
Can I File For Bankruptcy While Still Married?
There are several things to keep in mind when considering filing for bankruptcy as a married person:
- Your spouse’s income will be attributed to you — even if you file as an individual and your spouse refuses to make that income available to you. This can make it more difficult to qualify for bankruptcy, particularly Chapter 7, which has a strict limit on income.
- Often, filing together is less expensive. If the second spouse ends up having to file down the road, you will have basically doubled your costs.
- Filing with your spouse can help you save property like your home or car. Having joint filers allows you to double the number of exemptions you use for property. If your equity in your home is greater than the amount of the exemption, for example, your spouse may apply an exemption as well and cover the equity so you can keep it.
- Lastly, filing without your spouse may raise suspicion from the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee. While it is technically within the law, it is unusual for a married person to file alone. This can lead to extra hassle and scrutiny in your bankruptcy matter.
Of course, each bankruptcy case is unique. In some cases, it may be completely appropriate to file without your spouse — particularly if he or she has no debt or liability. A knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer, like the professionals of Nowack & Olson, can help you assess your situation and make the best decision for your future.
Guiding Good People Through Difficult Financial Times
Nowack & Olson has helped pioneer Florida bankruptcy law. We have assisted with thousands of cases just like yours. We have a long record of success that we would like to use for you to ensure you a more secure financial future.
Considering bankruptcy before you divorce is an option few people consider. But there are good reasons for it. For example, if you are able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to dismiss much of your credit card, medical and other debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also a good option as can allow you to keep your home, car and other valuable assets.
This can help speed the divorce process — there is no argument over who gets which debts, there is no worry that your former spouse won’t honor a debt that is allocated to him or her. With bankruptcy, the assets you have can be used to give you both new harmony in your life.
Call Today For A Free Consultation With A Lawyer
It costs you nothing to consult with an experienced Plantation bankruptcy & divorce lawyer at Nowack & Olson, PLLC. Learn about your options during a free initial consultation. Call us today at 305-698-2265 or 866-907-2970 toll free or send us an email. We maintain four office locations in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Boca Raton and Jupiter.