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Bankruptcy and Divorce

Getting a Divorce in Texas? Should You Also Be Considering Filing for Bankruptcy?

It's common knowledge that one of the leading causes of marital strife, and of divorce, is financial problems. Whether you are seeking a divorce or have been served with a divorce complaint, you may need to get a fresh financial start as well as a new emotional beginning. The timing of a bankruptcy petition can have a significant impact on the resolution of a divorce proceeding. This blog post addresses some of the concerns you may have regarding the interrelationship between divorce and bankruptcy.

Filing for Bankruptcy Before You File for Divorce

If you file for personal bankruptcy before seeking a divorce, you can do so without requiring that your spouse be a party to the bankruptcy, provided the debt is incurred in your name only. However, the bankruptcy court will look at the income of both parties to determine whether you can permanently discharge debt through Chapter 7 or must reorganize your debt under Chapter 13. Accordingly, if you hope to rid yourself of credit card, medical or other unsecured debt, you may be better off waiting to file for bankruptcy until your divorce is completed.

Filing for Bankruptcy While Your Divorce is Pending

If you file for bankruptcy after the initiation of divorce proceedings, but before a final judgment, the divorce court will customarily have to wait to divide marital property until the bankruptcy proceeding is complete. It is possible to resolve all other matters, such as child custody and visitation, child support and alimony, and you can even have the divorce granted, with property matters to be resolved when the bankruptcy is complete. However, child support and alimony cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Filing for Bankruptcy after the Completion of Your Divorce

If you wait to file for bankruptcy until your divorce is final, you may be more likely to qualify to permanently discharge debts in a Chapter 7 proceeding, as your ex-spouse's income will not be considered. Child support and spousal support payments may not be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding, though.

Contact Pfister Borserine & Associates

At the law office of Pfister Borserine & Associates, we bring more than 20 years of experience to individuals throughout north Texas who are involved in divorce proceedings. Attorney John Pfister is board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We understand that every case is unique, and take the time to learn the details of your situation, so that we can formulate a specific strategy to get the outcome you want. We offer experienced and successful trial counsel, or can help you to resolve your family law differences through alternative means, including negotiated settlements or mediation.
For an appointment with an experienced divorce lawyer, contact our office by e-mail or call us at 972-712-6700.

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