Debt Relief

Property & Assets

Bankruptcy FAQ

Which to file first: bankruptcy or divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2017 | Bankruptcy, Personal Bankruptcy

Perhaps the only thing harder than facing bankruptcy is facing divorce along with it. What are you to do when your savings account ends the same time as your marriage does? Does it make a difference which event you handle first?

Yes, it does. Whether you should file for bankruptcy before or after your divorce depends on many factors. Reviewing these and your circumstances with a bankruptcy attorney can help you determine which is the right course for you.


Whether you file by yourself or with your spouse, the cost is the same. Therefore, filing jointly will eliminate one filing fee, and you can split the cost. You also save money on credit counseling classes. You do not have to be living together, only still legally married, to take advantage of these savings.

Debt division

Asset division in a divorce includes joint debt as well. It may be easier to manage the debts before beginning a divorce instead of going through the complex process of dividing debts. Besides, creditors do not care if you are divorced when it comes to seeking payment. If your ex does not manage his or her debt, creditors may try you next.

Also, bankruptcy affects the division of property in a divorce due to state exemption laws. There is no point fighting over property you may not even be able to keep.


The type of bankruptcy you can declare relies on how much money you make. You may want to file for Chapter 7 but surpass the maximum income as a married couple. This will disqualify you, and you will have to file for Chapter 13 instead.


If you are in an abusive relationship, do not know where your spouse is or are dealing with a hostile ex, then filing for bankruptcy as a married couple is not a viable option. You must be able to cooperate to go through the process together.