Many married couples discover they need to file for bankruptcy around the same time that they file for divorce. Dealing with either situation is difficult enough, but the two together can be overwhelming. But which should be done first? Should they be done together? Every situation is different, but there are a few guidelines to make a difficult time a little easier.
File together or separately?
Filing for bankruptcy together can make things easier in some cases. If you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 together as a couple before ending the marriage, you may find that there is less in the way of fees and total debt to be split up.
With the correct lawyer, you can continue to minimize contact and emotional strain with this arrangement. However, if you find yourself in a less than friendly divorce, filing separately may be a better course of action.
Filing separately may be necessary in other cases. For example, one spouse may need financial relief, while the other does not. In other cases, you may find that filing jointly is just not possible because it requires a level of cooperation between both spouses that is currently out of the question. If you need to file separately, be sure to find a lawyer who can understand your situation and act kindly.
The attorney’s role in a bankruptcy
Keep in mind, a divorce attorney may not be able to represent you for the bankruptcy case. This is because the divorce inevitably pits you against your spouse. That, in turn, may create a legal conflict of interests. In this case, you may have little choice but to hire a separate attorney for each case. One of your lawyers may be able to recommend a compatible lawyer for your other legal issues.
If you should ever find yourself in this unpleasant situation, please know that having the right bankruptcy lawyer can make all the difference in the world. He or she can do much to smooth out the bumps in the road and help make the path to financial freedom as painless for you as possible. Finding a lawyer who is experienced and highly considerate of your situation will help you be more comfortable discussing your situation and help you get the financial comfort you need.
Located in Savannah, GA, Barbara Braziel is dedicated to helping you navigate that situation with as little difficulty as possible. With an emphasis on kindness and excellent results, she has been helping people in the Savannah area for over 35 years, and she would be glad to help you, too. Give her a call today at 912-351-9000. Find out more about Bankruptcy in our guide: All About Bankruptcy