The People’s Lawyer

Are you standing at the intersection of divorce and bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2023 | Bankruptcy

Unfortunately, bad things sometimes happen to good people. Even worse, they can occur simultaneously, making hard times even tougher to endure.

This is particularly true when couples face both divorce and bankruptcy at the same time. But while it might indeed be time to dissolve your marriage and restructure your finances, now is a time to act strategically to achieve the best outcome in both situations.

Which should be filed first — bankruptcy or divorce?

The answer to that essential question is that it depends entirely on your individual circumstances, as there can be advantages and disadvantages to both. For instance, what is the nature of the debts you want to get discharged in a bankruptcy filing? If they are personal debts from before your marriage, your approach will likely be quite different than it would be if you were looking to wipe the slate clean of marital debt.

In some cases, the parties can spend less money on court costs and on attorneys’ fees by jointly filing their bankruptcy petition and holding off on filing for divorce until the case is adjudicated and the debts discharged. 

Dealing with the family home

If one or both spouses want to protect the family home in a bankruptcy filing, that’s another issue to address. But here, the parties can have competing interests that make it more difficult to resolve the matter as a unit. 

The primary concern for the parties in both divorce and bankruptcy is understanding your legal options and obligations under West Virginia law. Learning more about the different ways both filings can affect your legal position will help you make the best choices possible.